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Myths and Legends 

Our New Possessions 


Myths and Legends of Our Own Land 
Illustrated. Two volumes in a box. i2mo. 
Buckram, $3.00 ; half calf or half morocco, 

Myths AND Legends Beyond Ouk Borders 
Illustrated. i2mo. Buckram, ^1.50; half 
calf or half morocco, $3.00 

Myths and Legends of Our New Pos- 
sessions and Protectorate. Illustrated. 
i2mo. Buckram, $1.50; half calf or half 
morocco, $3.00 

Myths and Legends Beyond Our Borders 
and Myths and Legends 0/ Our New Pos- 
sessions and Protectorate. Two volumes in 
a box. Buckram, $3.00; half calf or half 
morocco, ^.00 


With Feet to the Earth 

Ne^u Edition, Enlarged 

Illustrated. i2mo. Cloth, ornamental, $1.50 

Do-Nothing Days 
Illustrated. i2mo. Cloth, ornamental, $1.50 

Flowers in the Pave 
Illustrated. i2mo. Cloth, ornamental, jji.50 

IM Myths a-LegendsM^ 

im ofour m 

^ New Possessions <afc^ 
<^ cS' Protectorate \/^ 

ijM Charles M.Skinner M 


M PhiladelpliiacjyLondon M\ 
^W. JB.Lippincott Company ^ ^% 






Copyright, 1899 

J. P. .'.ip?iNC0TT Company 

FIRbT CCPY, . ^ . ^ „ ,, c ^ 

Printed by J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia, U S.A. 



OUR new territories have many legends, for 
among unbookish people tradition takes the 
place of history, and myth of knowledge. Yet 
Spain, by rooting out everything that disagreed with 
her religion, has obliterated much of the aboriginal 
lore of Cuba, Porto Rico, and the Philippines. It 
was hardly to be expected that their myths should 
survive exterminated races. A contrast to the 
recent Spanish possessions is offered by Hawaii, a 
little kingdom in which the preservation of hero 
tales and symbolic narratives has been an honorable 
employment for a class not unlike that of the an- 
cient bards of European countries, and of our new 
subjects — our brothers, let us rather say — the Ha- 
waiians are the only ones who have formulated 
these ancient stories. The book ascribed to King 
Kalakaua is especially rich in the folk-lore of the 

When one begins to collate legends a sure sur- 
prise awaits him at an early stage in his researches. 
It is the discovery of beliefs that are strikingly 
similar, one to another, in spite of the seeming 
dissociation of the tribes among whom they are 
found. We place the ark on Ararat, but there are 



Ararats in the Sierras, in Alaska, in Hawaii, in the 
Philippines. It sets us a-thinking when we find 
Noah in a Hawaiian myth, and there called Nuu ; 
when we learn of the white god of Mexico who 
is to return and free his people, for which reason 
houses in the southwest are still built with doors 
opening toward the sunrise, that the faithful may 
see him early when he advances out of the East, to 
which he went so long ago. We have forgotten all 
we never knew about the people who first recounted 
the deluge legend, but everywhere we hear, among 
primitive tribes, of floods that covered the globe, 
of a chosen one who survived the cataclysm and re- 
peopled the earth, restoring to it, also, the serpents, 
birds, and quadrupeds that he had saved from the 
waters. How much more dramatic and portentous 
are these records than the possible beginning of the 
story in some local freshet ! 

Eden is in both hemispheres. Sodom has been 
destroyed on both continents. Helen is not alone 
of Troy, but of Molokai and California. Coming 
to a later time, we find our dear old Rip Van Winkle 
to be only the phantom of an earlier personage. 
The man who fell asleep among the hills and awoke 
to find himself and the world grown old is at home 
in Germany and the Orient and on our Western 
plains, quite as well as in the mountains of our Hud- 
son ; yet we refuse to yield his place to any proto- 
type, and insist that Rip shall inhabit our Catskills. 

Primitive people are like the Greeks in their faith 



in nature spirits. For the red man, or the yellow 
man, the dryad haunts the wood as surely as she 
haunted the groves of Tempe ; for him the skies roar 
the wrath of gods, as they did when Jove hurled his 
bolts and Vulcan beat with his hammer, or as Thor, 
the Thunderer, wrought in a later theogony ; for 
him the voice of the stream at the fall of night tells 
secrets of the past and speaks hope for the future, as 
it did when the voice came from the lips of a nymph 
in Hellas ; for him sirens sing in the sea and Undine 
smiles from the mist of the cascade ; for him the 
sun is still Apollo, the swift, the beautiful, the life- 
supporting, the life-taking ; for him the moon still 
walks the night, watching, defending, loving. In 
brief, the difference between the Sioux, or the Ta- 
galog, and the Greek is one of external civilization. 
In both we find the same tendency to soften facts 
into symbols, to personate and typify. The natural 
language of the savage is poetry. The thought of 
a people that aspires to see beyond the shell of things 
is poetic. Let us refrain from destroying or deriding 
ideals that are better than nine in ten of our com- 
monplaces. It cannot hurt us to live in a fairy age a 
little longer, — to keep away from the screech of 
trains, the jar of factories, the bawling of hucksters, 
the agonizings of mendacious journals, for a few still 
precious years. It is better worth our while to learn 
how the wolves drew Passaconaway on his throne 
of furs across the frozen wastes, how from the sum- 
mit of Mount Washington his sledge arose flaming 



up to heaven, shining, star-like, till it vanished in 
the deeps, than to laboriously inform ourselves con- 
cerning the House vote on a tariff amendment or the 
dates on which the Prussians and Austrians fell afoul 
of one another in a war that never concerned us. It 
is as fine, as ethical, as the translation of Moses. 

Are these likenesses in legend due to a paucity of 
plots and combinations, such as limit the makers of 
plays and novels to a dozen or fifteen outlines ? It 
may be. Yet, even in detail, some of these stories 
are oddly alike. Indeed, there are certain tales from 
which there is no escape. Wherever you go you 
find a bottomless pond, a haunted house, a lovers' 
leap. Probably there are a hundred of these leaps in 
this one country of ours, though of one of them the 
only story is that of a man who tumbled over and 
lost his jack-knife. Until we know what sort of 
vine it was on which Jack the Giant Killer climbed 
to the skies, and what gave the cerulean tint to Blue- 
beard's whiskers, we shall ask in vain why lovers 
should take so difficult a leave of us as was required 
in scaling these crags, using teeth and nails in the 
ascent, usually with the family of the adored one 
clambering after and trying to dissuade them, — this 
as a preliminary. One would think it would be easy 
for the leaper to let go before he reached the top, 
and save work, even if he had no consideration for 
his elders who are toiling and perspiring behind him. 
But no : he always keeps on to the summit, or she 
docs, or both do, and sing a death-song or make a 



few remarks respecting the brevity of life and the 
hardness of parents ; then, just as the stern father 
calls from below that he will not oppose their union 
any longer if he, or she, or they will return and be 
forgiven, or spanked, they step over the brink and 
alight on his face, to his great annoyance. There 
are, however, too many tales of lovers* leaps that 
have the sound and meaning of truth to be disre- 
garded. At least once in this year of grace 1899 
we have the enactment of their tragedy. One ridi- 
cuks only such as are invented by hotel proprietors 
to fit some cliff near their hostelry, or by wandering 
penmen who seek to heighten the interest of a tale or 
history that is otherwise bare of it. To thousands 
the mere sight of a precipice hints at the fearfulness 
of a fall from its brink, and out of the stimulus 
which the fancy thus receives the tale of the lover's 
leap may be evolved. 

Another incident has come to notice in several 
parts of the world. It is the adventure in a cave 
that has its entrance under water. This cave is a 
hiding-place for lovers, or a place of concealment for 
captured or runaway maidens, or a resort of conspir- 
ators who are keeping out of sight of the authorities. 
Caves of this kind appear in the legends of many 
lands, and in this volume one such legend relates to 
Porto Rico, another to Hayti, and two to Hawaii. 
Except in the symbolic tale of ** The Lady of the 
Twilight," they sound like stories that commemorate 
events, rather than disguises for natural phenomena, 



and the events are possible. Let us believe they 
are, at any rate, if thereby we enrich imagination 
with a moment of romance ; and let us be thankful 
to the barbarian that he has not reduced his life to 
the gray, unsoftened state of the oracle who, from 
his throne on the cracker-barrel in the corner gro- 
cery, proclaims against the wickedness of plays and 
novels because they are not true. As if moral truth 
and truth of character were not of more account 
than truth of fact ! Religion, which has been a 
force for the moral lift of the race, is in all nations 
a traditionary, not a historical or scientific, inheri- 
tance, and so with half our laws and all our customs. 
Why all this to-do to prove that Pocahontas did not 
save John Smith ? that William Tell never existed ? 
He did exist, in the spirit of the Swiss ; he exists 
to-day in every land of woods and mountains ; and, 
blessings on him! he always will exist, though con- 
ventions of spectacled doubters pass resolutions ad- 
vising him that he mustn't. Indeed, though we have 
seen interesting denials of William Tell, most of us 
as willingly believe in him at this moment as ever 
we did in our lives. The race clings to its legends 
fondly. It will not discard them so long as they 
stand for truths of Nature and of human nature. 


EabU of dtonttnt^ 

Hn tbe Caribbean p^cb 

The •Mysterious Islands 23 

The Buccaneers 33 

The Boat of Phantom Children 46 

Early Porto Rico 48 

The Deluge 55 

How Spaniards were Found to be Mortal 56 

Ponce 58 

Water Caves 61 

How a Dutchman Helped the Spaniards 65 

The Ghost of San Geronimo 67 

Police Activity in Humacao 71 

The Church in Porto Rico 74 

The Mermaids '. 78 

The Aborigines 83 

The Caribs 88 

Secret Enemies in the Hills 9a 

Sacred Shrines 98 

Tobacco 103 

The Two Skeletons of Columbus 106 

Obeah Witches 108 

The Matanzas Obeah Woman 113 

How Havana Got its Market 121 

The Justice of Tacon 127 

The Cited 133 

The Virgin's Diamond 141 


Table of Contents 

Hn tbe Caribbean— (ContinueD) p^c^ 

A Spanish Holofernes 144 

The Courteous Battle 150 

Why King Congo was Late 153 

The Chase of Taito Perico 156 

The Voice in the Inn 163 

irn tbe ipaciflc 

Finding of the Islands 177 

Ancient Faiths of Hawaii 178 

The Giant Gods 188 

The First Fire 189 

The Little People 190 

The Hawaiian Iliad X94, 

The Hawaiian Orpheus and Eurydice 201 

The Rebellion of Kamiole ao6 

The Japanese Sword 21a 

Lo-Lale's Lament 217 

The Resurrections of Kaha 220 

Hawaiian Ghosts 224 

The Three Wives of Laa 225 

The Misdoing of Kamapua 226 

Pele's Hair 233 

The Prayer to Pele 234 

Lohiau and the Volcano Princess 237 

A Visit of Pele 239 

The Great Famine 243 

Kiha's Trumpet 248 

How Moikeha Gained a Wife • 25a 

The Sailing of Paao 254 

The Wronged Wife 256 

The Magic Spear 259 

Hawaiian Witches 26a 

The Cannibals 267 


Table of Contents 

ITn tbe pacific— (ContinucD) p^gh 

The Various Graves of Kaulii 270 

The Kingship of Umi 273 

Keaulumoku's Prophecy 276 

The Tragedy of Spouting Cave 277 

The Grave of Pupehe 283 

The Lady of the Twilight 285 

The Ladrones 286 

Old Beliefs of the Filipinos 290 

Animal Myths 300 

Later Religious Myths and Miracles 304 

Bankiva, the Philippine Pied Piper 315 

The Crab Tried to Eat the Moon 317 

The Conversion of Amambar 319 

The Bedevilled Galleon 322 

Two Runaways from Manila 329 

The Christianizing of Wong 333 

The Devil's Bridge 335 

The Great Earthquake 339 

Suppressing Magic in Manila 345 

Faith that Killed 348 

The Widow Velarde's Husband 35 1 

The Grateful Bandits , 352 



Gate of the Walled City of Manilla . . Frontispiece 

A Cuban Residence Page 146 

Down the Valley came Pouring a Flood of 

Lava " 232 

Avenue of Palms, Hawaii " 262 

in t^t €m'bUun 


Hn tf)e ataribftcan 


SOMEWHERE— anywhere— in the Atlantic, 
islands drifted like those tissues of root and 
sedge that break from the edges of northern lakes 
and are sent to and fro by the gales : floating islands. 
The little rafts bearing that name are thick enough 
to nourish trees, and a man or a deer may walk 
on them without breaking through. Far different 
were those wandering Edens of the sea, for they 
had mountains, volcanoes, cities, and gardens ; men 
of might and women lovelier than the dawn lived 
there in brotherly and sisterly esteem ; birds as 
bright as flowers, and with throats like flutes, peo- 
pled the groves, where luscious fruit hung ready for 
the gathering, and the very skies above these places 
of enchantment were more serene and deep than 
those of the storm-swept continents. Where the 
surges creamed against the coral beaches and cliffs 
of jasper and marble, the mer-people arose to view 
and called to the land men in song, while the fish in 
the shallows were like wisps of rainbow. 

It was the habit of these lands never to be where 
the seeker could readily find them. Some legends 


Myths and Legends 

pertaining to them appear to do with places no far- 
ther from the homes of the simple, if imaginative, 
tellers than the Azores, Canaries, and Cape Verdes ; 
but others indicate a former knowledge of our own 
America, and a few may relate to that score or so 
of rocks lying between New England and the Latin 
shores ; bare, dangerous domes and ledges where 
sea fowl nest, and where a crumbling skeleton tells 
of a sailor who outlived a wreck to endure a more 
dreadful death from cold and thirst and hunger. 
Some of these tales reach back to the Greek myths : 
survivals of the oldest histories, or possibly con- 
nected America with the old world through voyages 
made by men whose very nations are dead and long 
forgotten ; for the savages and ogres that inhabited 
these elusive islands may be European concepts of our 
Indians. But in the earlier Christian era all was mys- 
tery on those plains of water that stretched beyond 
the sunset. It was believed that as one sailed 
toward our continent the day faded, and that if the 
mariner kept on he would be lost in hopeless gloom. 
Perhaps the most ancient story in the world tells 
of the sinking of Atlantis. When the Egyptian 
priest told it to Solon it was already venerable be- 
yond estimate ; yet he recounted the work and 
pleasures of the Atlantans, who were a multitude, 
who drank from hot and cold springs, who had 
mines of silver and gold, pastures for elephants, and 
plants that yielded a sweet savor ; who prayed in 
temples of white, red and black stone, sheathed in 


In the Caribbean 

shining metals ; whose sculptors made vast statues, 
one, representing Poseidon driving winged horses, 
being so large that the head of the god nearly 
touched the temple roof; who had gardens, canals, 
sea walls, and pleasant walks ; who had ten thou- 
sand chariots in their capital alone ; the port of 
twelve hundred ships. They were a folk of peace 
and kindness, but as they increased in wealth and 
comfort they forgot the laws of heaven ; so in a day 
and a night this continent went down, burying its 
millions and its treasures beneath the waters. A 
few of the inhabitants escaped to Europe in their 
ships ; a few, also, to America. It has been claimed 
that Atlantis may still be traced in an elevation of 
the ocean floor about seven hundred miles wide and 
a thousand miles long, its greatest length from north- 
east to southwest, and the Azores at its eastern edge 
— mountain tops not quite submerged. As some be- 
lieve, it was from this cataclysm that has sprung the 
world-wide legend of a deluge. 

From some of the enchanted lands, perhaps near 
the American shore. Merlin went to England, piled 
the monoliths of Stonehenge on Salisbury moor, 
and after gaining respect and fear as a magician and 
prophet, sailed back across the waste. The Joyous 
Island of Lancelot ; the island where King Arthur 
wrestled and bested the Half Man ; Avalon, the 
Isle of the Blest, where Arthur lived in the castle 
of the sea-born fairy, Morgan le Fee, were probably 
near the British or Irish coasts. 


Myths and Legends 

Many days* sail from Europe was the Island of 
Youth. A daring Irish lad reached it, borne by a 
horse as white as the foam, that never sank. He 
paused on the way to slay a giant who held a 
princess in his enchantment, and reached, at length, 
a land where birds were so many that the trees 
shook with the burden of them, and the air rang 
with their song. There, with his wife and a merry 
band of youths and maids, he spent a hundred 
years — one long joy of killing ; for from dawn till 
dark the deer met death at his hand, bleeding from 
the stroke of dart and knife. A floating spear was 
found near the shore one day, rusted and scarred 
with battle, and as he grasped it memories of old 
wars returned to him, so that he was sick with 
longing to go home and hurl the cutting metal 
through the ribs of his enemies and see the good 
red flood burst from their hearts. He remounted 
his white steed and reached Ireland, careless of the 
happiness he had left ; for those who deserted the 
island might never return. He reached his home 
to find men grown too small and mean to fight him, 
which probably means that he had waxed so great 
as to make them seem like dwarfs. Appalled at 
this change, dismayed at the loss of all chance for 
battle, he sank to the earth. His age came sud- 
denly upon him, and he died. 

In one of the great Irish monasteries lived St. 
Brandan, of the holy brotherhood that tilled the 
soil, taught the permitted sciences, copied and il- 


In the Caribbean 

lumined the works of the early Christians, fed four 
hundred beggars daily, though living on bread, 
roots, and nuts themselves, lodging and studying in 
unwarmed cells of stone. Once in seven years the 
people saw from shore the island of Hy-Brasail. The 
monks tried to stop its wanderings by prayer and by 
fiery arrows, yet without avail. Kirwan claimed to 
have landed on it, and he brought back strange 
money that he said was used by its people. So late 
as 1850 Brasail Rock remained on the British Ad- 
miralty chart, to show how hard tradition dies. The 
appearance of this phantom land made Brandan long 
to explore the realm of mystery wherefrom it had 
emerged. He hoped to find even the Promised 
Island of the Saints, when at last he was able to 
leave the convent where he had endured so many 
hardships and embarked on Mernoc's ship ; blessed 
region where fruit was borne on every tree, flowers 
on every bush ; region strewn with precious stones 
and full of perfume that cliing to one's garments for 
weeks, like an odor of sanctity. 

Seventeen priests set sail in the coracle, or boat 
of basket work covered with leather. They had 
no fear, for they were holy men, and in those days 
Christians were immune from peril. Not long 
before a company of nuns had been blown across 
the sea and back again, seated on a cloak that rode 
the waves like a ship. After forty days Brandan's 
company found a group of islands peopled by 
courteous natives. Next they disembarked on what 


Myths and Legends 

they thought to be a rock to cook a dinner, but it 
was no rock ; it was a whale, that, feeling the sting 
of flame through his thick hide, rushed off for two 
miles, carrying their fire on his back. They hastily 
re-entered their boat before the monster had gained 
much headway and ere long reached the Paradise 
of Birds, where they enjoyed the music made by 
thousands of little creatures with their wings — a 
music like fiddling. After this came visits to a den 
of griffins; to a land of grapes such as the Norse- 
men told about ; to a mountain country aflame with 
the forges of one-eyed people, or cyclops. Twice, 
on Easter Sunday, they put lambs to death, and so, 
being blessed for the sacrifice, were allowed to reach 
the Island of Saints, where an angel bade them take 
all the precious stones they wished, as they had 
been created for holy people, but to attempt no ex- 
ploration beyond that point. No men appeared ; 
still, in order to leave the impress of their calling, 
St. Malo, one of the company, dug up a giant who 
had died several years before, preached to him and 
baptized him. These reformatory services revived 
the giant a little, though he was pretty far gone, and 
he died again as soon as the priest stopped preach- 
ing. St. Brandan went back to Clonfert, where 
three thousand monks joined him in good works, 
and mendicants swarmed from all over the land to 
benefit by their labor. He often told the people 
and the brethren of the wonders he had seen in 
lands Columbus was to rediscover nine hundred 


In the Caribbean 

years later, and he dwelt with marvelling on the 
mercy of God as shown to Judas Iscariot, the be- 
trayer of Christ, who was encountered in the 
northern seas, lying naked on an iceberg in silent 
delight. St. Brandan recognized him by portraits 
he had seen and hailed him. Judas then told his 
story ; he was roasting in hell when the Lord re- 
membered that once in Joppa this disciple had 
thrown his cloak over the shoulders of a leper 
who was agonized by a wind that blew sharp sand 
into his sores. An angel was sent to tell the doomed 
one that for this mercy he would be allowed, for 
one hour in every year, to breathe the wholesome 
air of the upper world, and stretch his scorched 
body on the ice. Moved by this tenderness 
toward the most despised of men, St. Brandan 
bowed and prayed, just as Judas, with despair in 
his upturned face, slipped down again to the deeps 
of lire. 

Some men of Ross, Ireland, had killed their 
king, despite his successful wars against his rival 
monarchs, some of whose kingdoms were as large 
as a township. For this offense the heir to the 
throne, or his advisers, decreed that sixty couples 
should be set adrift on the ocean, to meet what fate 
they might. A guard was put along the shore to 
keep them from landing again, and an easterly gale 
blew them quickly out of sight of their relatives 
and friends. For years none dared to seek for them. 
Conall Ua Corra, of Connaught, had prayed in 


Myths and Legends 

vain to the Lord for children, so in anger he prayed 
to the devil, and three boys were born to his wife. 
The neighbors jeered at them as the fiend's off- 
spring, and harassed them and made them bitter. 
They said, one to the other, " If we are really sons 
of Satan we will justify these taunts," and collect- 
ing all the vicious boys of their village they robbed 
farmers, ruined churches, killed men who resisted 
plunder, and were about to murder their father 
when they were warned in a vision of the eternal 
punishment they would endure in blazing sulphur 
pits if they did not repent. Their father had long 
regretted his hasty prayer to the evil one, and had 
tried to regain the good-will of heaven by industry, 
and by giving freely of his substance to the sick and 
pauperized. By advice of St. Finnen, to whom 
they confessed, the boys repaired the churches they 
had injured and mourned the victims of their bru- 
tality ; yet, as the people doubted their conversion, 
they resolved to leave the country and go to some 
land where they would not be constantly exposed 
to the danger of breaking their good resolves by 
reproaches and attacks. Where to go ? It was 
suggested by some designing neighbor that if they 
were to search for the one hundred and twenty 
exiles they would be doing a service to heaven and 
the world. This suggestion was promptly acted 
on. In a frail coracle they swept the sea, discover- 
ing strange lands, in one of which the half-forgotten 
people of Ross were found, living so contentedly 


In the Caribbean 

that few of them cared to go back. The most ex- 
citing incidents of the voyage were the three meet- 
ings with the Island of Satan's Hand, a lone rock 
in icy waters, where fogs always brooded. At the 
will of a malignant demon it changed its place from 
time to time, and it was the hand of this monster, 
a vast, rude shape looming out of the mist, which 
endangered all the ships that passed, for it struck 
at them, — as it did at the coracle of these three 
voyagers, — injuring hulls, tearing sails, or knocking 
the crews overboard, when it did not send them to 
the bottom. If the blow fell short it made the sea 
boil and sent billows rolling for a mile. Some of 
the shore folk said it was icebergs that the shipmen 
saw ; but icebergs never sailed so far from the pole, 
they answered. Despite its wandering habit, the 
map-makers eventually agreed on a site for this rock 
of the smiting hand, calling it Satanaxio. It can be 
seen on charts of the eighteenth century. 

A thousand years before Columbus it was reported 
that tropic islands had been discovered and ruled by 
Archbishop Oppas, of Spain, who was fain to leave 
his country because he had betrayed his king to the 
Moors. He found a race friendly and gentle, 
sharing with one another whatever was given to 
them, as not knowing selfishness. This prelate 
burned his ships, that his people might not return, 
laid off the largest island into seven bishoprics, and, 
impressing the natives into his service, built churches 
and convents, for there were women in his company 


Myths and Legends 

whom he placed in nunneries. This island, which 
figures on early maps as Antillia and as Behaim, was 
known also as the Land of the Seven Cities, from 
its seven bishoprics. When Coronado heard of the 
pueblos of Arizona and New Mexico, he may have 
confounded them with the towns of Oppas, and to 
this day the seven cities of Cibola are a legend of 
our desert. Harold's Norsemen were told by the 
wild Skraelings of Maine of a pale-faced people 
farther south, who walked in processions, carrying 
white banners and chanting. 

Near Florida was the island of Bimini, with its 
fountain of youth. Juan and Luis Ponce de Leon 
sought it vainly among the Bahamas, then crossed to 
Florida and kept up the search among the pine bar- 
rens, the moss-bearded cypresses, the snaky swamps, 
and alligator infested rivers. The Indians, strong, 
active, healthy with their simple, outdoor life, their 
ignorance of wine and European diseases, seemed so 
favored that the Spaniards believed they must have 
bathed in the magic fountain and drank its waters. 
Green Cove Spring, near Magnolia, is the one where 
Luis bathed, hoping that he had found at last the 
restorative fountain ; but an angry Indian shot a 
poisoned arrow through his body, and neither 
prayers nor water stayed long the little life that was 
in him. So the spring is in the unfound Bimini, 
after all. 


In the Caribbean 


HOW the free traders in the West Indies be- 
came smugglers, how by easy stages they 
passed from the profession of illicit dealing to 
piracy, are matters that concern history rather than 
legend. Their name of buccaneers comes from 
buccan, an Indian word signifying a smoke-house, 
in which beef and other meats were dried ; as one 
of the earliest enterprises of the rovers was the 
stealing of Spanish cattle in San Domingo, and the 
drying of their flesh in the native buccans for use 
at sea. 

A general hatred or jealousy of Spain, that was 
shared by the English, Dutch, and French, led to the 
first privateering expeditions. Indeed, throughout 
the seventeenth century the pirates operated princi- 
pally against Spain, and were tolerated because of the 
injury they did to her ships, her people, her prop- 
erty, and her trade. Having finally ruined her 
commerce, they sacked her colonies, and, the lust 
for blood and treasure having been roused to a sort 
of madness, they cast off patriotic allegiances and 
became mere robbers and outlaws. The history of 
the successes of L'Ollonois, Morgan, Davis, and the 
rest, is an exciting though painful one, inasmuch as 
all sense of right and mercy seems to have been 
crushed in the breasts of these men by their brutal 
business. For a handful of dollars they were ready 
to wreck a city, reduce even its ruins to ashes, 
3 33 

Myths and Legends 

slaughter women and babes, and cut the throats of 
the aged. They were as harsh and treacherous 
toward one another as they were toward peaceable 
men, and for acts of rebellion against a leader they 
were killed off-hand, while it was customary, also, 
to butcher a sailor whenever a chest of treasure was 
buried, and place his body on or in the chest, that 
his ghost might guard it and terrify intruders. Yet 
the ultimate influence of the buccaneers was for 
good, inasmuch as they wrested a part of the rich 
Antilles from the cruel and ignorant Spaniard and 
gave it to more enlightened powers. 

When the freebooting days were at their height 
there was no harbor of safety between Rio and 
Halifax ; but there was, in every town the rascals 
visited, an element that profited by their robberies : 
the keepers of inns, brothels, and gaming-houses, 
and, lastly, the royal governors. These bloody- 
fingered varlets would sack a church, get tipsy on 
the communion wine, and demand the blessing of 
the priests on the next enterprise of the same kind 
they had in contemplation. With the chalices, 
candlesticks, and altar furnishings, they would go to 
the nearest city, where they were sure of finding 
this friendly element, and riot away the last piece 
of metal in their pockets ; or, if pipes of wine were 
among the prizes, any island would serve for a long 
debauch. Devil's Island, the place of Dreyfus's 
captivity, was a popular rendezvous, though it is so 
named not because of these gatherings, but because 


In the Caribbean 

of a particularly unmanageable prisoner who was 
once confined there. 

The governors of some of the West Indies were 
as keen on the scent of the sea-robbers as the latter 
were in the chase of merchant-men, and they were 
unable to see a good many sad goings-on when a few 
pieces-of-eight were held before their eyes. Gaming 
was no disgrace in those times, nor was hard drink- 
ing, nor coarse speech, and even piracy had a sort 
of sanction when the victims were people of a nation 
with whom the buccaneers were at war. Many 
tales of gamesters* luck are told, but a couple will 
suffice. Vent-en-Panne, a Frenchman, had received 
five hundred crowns as his share of a robbery, and 
on the first night ashore, at Kingston, Jamaica, he 
staked and lost it all, with three hundred more that 
a reckless comrade had lent to him. Though pen- 
niless, he was not discouraged. He became a wine- 
drawer and pipe-lighter in the tavern, and with a 
few pennies received for tips he bet on the cards 
again. This time he won, and his fortune mounted 
to twelve thousand crowns. With this amount in 
hand he felt he could be virtuous, so he took ship 
for home, intending to settle in Paris and fulfil the 
ambition of every honest Frenchman, — to own a 
furnished room, fish in the Seine, and hear the bands 
play. He got only as far as Barbadoes, for at that 
island a rich Jew came aboard, persuaded him to play 
for a small amount, and lost everything to Vent-en- 
Panne, — money, houses, sugar, and slaves. The 


Myths and Legends 

fever was on them both, however, and so soon as the 
Jew could borrow a little his luck also turned, and 
Vent-en- Panne was stripped of every sou, — even the 
clothes he wore. Paris became an iridescent dream, 
and the gambler found his way to the Tortugas, 
where he doubtless shipped with Morgan, Teach, 
or some other of the scourges of the Spanish main. 
Two rovers are credited with beating the governor 
of Jamaica at another game, after they had lost to 
him a matter of ten thousand crowns, — the earnings 
of several weeks faithfully devoted to privateering. 
In order to continue the game (to their complete 
beggary), the fellows had borrowed from acquaint- 
ances in Kingston, who, seeing no way to get their 
money back, decided to have them imprisoned for 
debt. Hearing of this plan, the elder of the precious 
pair reported to the governor that he had a negro 
whom he would like to sell, cheap, in order to pay 
his debts and start in a mechanic trade, such as he 
had followed in years gone by. The governor bade 
him have the fellow brought in, and finding him to 
be a sturdy, intelligent man, with a skin as black as the 
ten of clubs, he bought him and set him at work. 
Next day the negro had disappeared. Notice and 
offers of reward were sent to all parts of the island, 
but nothing came of it. The two ex-pirates fol- 
lowed a peaceful and thriving trade of making keys, 
possibly for burglars, and in a few years had saved 
enough to enable them to return to England. Be- 
fore sailing they called on the ex governor, who had 


In the Caribbean 

drank and gambled himself into poverty, and emp- 
tied a fistful of gold before him. 

** That's for the nigger, with interest," said one. 

** The nigger ? What, the one that ran away ?'* 
asked the governor. 

** Oh, he didn't run far. Here he is." And the 
speaker clapped his companion on the shoulder. 
" He had only to curl his hair with a hot iron and 
rub charcoal on his chops to deceive a governor." 

The tickled old fellow drank their health and 
wished them a safe journey, out of Jamaica. 

While luck seemed to bide with the rovers, it was 
not always smooth sailing on the Spanish seas. Now 
and then the buccaneers attacked an innocent look- 
ing ship that waited until they had come within 
musket-reach, when it ran up the Spanish standard, 
opened a dozen ports, and let fly at them with hot- 
shot and a hail of bullets. Now and again a mutiny 
would occur, and the victorious either forced the de- 
feated to walk the plank or marooned them on some 
desolate sand key to perish of thirst and sunstroke, 

Blackbeard's men once found a fishing-vessel drift- 
ing off the Burmudas and eagerly boarded her to look 
for treasure. In a minute they tumbled out of the 
cabin and scrambled into the sea like the swine pos- 
sessed of devils. The vessel had but one living man 
on board, and he had not many hours of life before 
him, while corpses strewn about the floor were spot- 
ted with small-pox. Half of the pirate crew were 
slain by the pestilence. 


Myths and Legends 

When Roberts was cruising off Surinam a sup- 
posed war-ship bore down on him in a fog. He 
pelted her with all his guns, but she kept her way 
unheeding. The fog then breaking showed that it 
was not a frigate, but a sloop, which had been mag- 
nified by the mist, and he quickly grappled her and 
sent his men to see what manner of ship she was. 
Ten or twelve Spaniards lying about the deck with 
their throats cut proved that some other buccaneer 
had been before him. As the men were about to 
leave their floating charnel-house to hold her way 
whither the gales might send her, a furious swearing 
in Spanish caused them to shiver and look back. 
Were the dead speaking ? Had some crazed sailor 
escaped, and was he gibbering from the roundtop .'' 
No : it was a parrot in the rigging, and he was 
saying all he knew. 

Montbar, having discovered a company of Span- 
ish on one of the Windward Islands, went ashore 
with guns, knives, and axes, and destroyed them all, 
except one. This man told how he and his fellows 
had been put ashore. They were the crew of a 
slaver, and were on their way from Africa to Cuba 
with a cargo of slaves, when the ship began to leak 
badly. The carpenter, accompanied by several of 
the more intelligent of the blacks, made a careful in- 
spection of the hold, yet could find no leak ; so the 
constant inflow, that kept all hands at the pumps, 
was at length declared to be the devil's work. The 
slaves wailed and wrung their hands, the captain 


In the Caribbean 

swore and prayed, the crew toiled to exhaustion. 
When it seemed as if the ship could not float for an- 
other day the island appeared ahead, and quickly 
loading arms, provisions, and water into the boats, 
the Spaniards abandoned ship and left the negroes 
to their fate. Great was their surprise and dismay 
when the slaves ran, cheering, over the deck, hoisted 
all sail, and squared away for the eastward, the vessel 
rising higher in the water as her former crew sat 
watching her. These blacks, who were confined in 
the hold, had got possession of knives with which 
they cut through the outer planking, causing the ship 
to leak alarmingly. They had also fitted plugs to 
these leaks, and packed them with oakum, so that 
when the carpenter made his rounds no water came 
in. As soon as he returned to the deck the holes 
were opened again, for it was known that the An- 
tilles were near, and the scheme to frighten their 
captors to land was successful. These facts the crew 
learned from the negro cook, who had accompanied 
them to shore. 

The devil, who was supposed in this case to have 
been the enemy instead of the ally of the slavers, 
often mixed in the affairs of a class that must have 
filled him with admiration. Some of the pirates 
are reported to have placed themselves entirely in 
the hands of the foe of the human race, swearing 
on strange objects to give their souls to him, and 
formally burying a Bible on shore as a token that 
they were through forever with religion and mercy, 


Myths and Legends 

Yet they were a superstitious lot, fearful of signs 
and portents, and do not, therefore, appear to have 
been trusting subjects of His Satanic Majesty. 
They always had an ear and a coin for a fortune- 
teller, and early in the eighteenth century there 
were negroes and Indians in the West Indies and 
the tropic Americas who openly practised that trade 
and art of witchcraft for which their white brethren 
in Salem had been hanged. Their principal cus- 
tomers were pirates and buccaneers, who went to 
them for a forecast of fortune, and also bought 
charms that would create fair winds for themselves 
and typhoons for their enemies. These witches 
kept open ears in their heads, and information care- 
lessly dropped by the outlaws they sold for an after- 
math of gain to the Spaniards, who found truth in 
so many of the prophesies that they respected the 
soothsayers and fully believed that the English were 
the chosen of the fiend. 

Among the most trusted of the witches was a 
withered Indian woman of Nassau, the capital of the 
Bahamas. She was close upon her fifth score of 
years before she departed this life, but the rumor 
that she had lived in New Providence since the 
flood was not denied, for it made her the more re- 
garded. Her best commodity was strings. For a 
large price she would sell a string in which she had 
tied several knots, each one of which represented 
the particular wind that the captain might wish to 
prosper him on his way. Captain Condent was a 


In the Caribbean 

blaspheming corsair from the wicked town of New 
York, who had left that port as quartermaster on a 
merchant-man and next morning had appeared with 
a battery of pistols and had calmly taken the ship 
out of the hands of her officers. This fellow had 
bought a string from the witch that carried him to 
the Cape Verdes and back to America, but when 
he had cut off all the knots, except two or three, 
he feared that he might run out of winds alto- 
gether ; so he put upon certain servants of the Lord 
the task for which he had paid the servant of the 
devil. He had with him two or three Spanish 
monks whom he had stolen in the Cape Verdes, 
though what he wanted of them neither he nor they 
could have guessed. They were having a most un- 
happy time of it. Now and then the scallawag 
sailors would force them upon all fours, and sitting 
astride their backs would compel them to creep 
about the deck, pretending to be horses, while 
Condent whipped them smartly with the rope's 
end. Thinking to save his precious twine, he or- 
dered these monks to pray for favoring winds, and 
he kept them on their marrow bones petitioning 
from daylight until sunset. Often they would fall 
exhausted and voiceless. At last, believing that the 
wind pedler of Nassau had more power over the 
elements than a shipload of monks, he threw the 
wretched friars overboard, and, as luck would have 
it, the wind he wanted came whistling along a ^qw 
minutes after, 


Myths and Legends 

He came to the end of his string at Zanzibar, 
where he was caught in a tremendous storm, and 
was in hourly peril of destruction. His masts had 
cracked, his sails had split, his water barrels had 
gone by the board. It was time to hold the witch 
to her bargain. He swung the cord about his head 
three times, called the woman's name, and although 
eight thousand miles of sea and continent lay be- 
tween them, she heard the call. The string was 
pulled through his fingers so smartly that it made 
them burn, and was whisked out of sight in the 
wind and the spray. Within an hour the gale 
abated. Next day Condent attempted to make his 
way by dead reckoning, but whenever he went 
wrong a bird flew in his face, and a ship crowded 
with skeletons approached him in the mist. He 
presently gained the Isle of Bourbon, or Reunion, 
where his stealings enabled him to cut such a figure 
in society that he married into the family of the 
governor and died in an odor of — well, maybe it 
was sanctity. At all events, he died. 

It was a witch also that had foretold the march 
of the buccaneers across Panama isthmus, and her 
warning was considered of such importance that the 
Spanish troops and merchants were notified, though 
they made but a feeble resistance when the foray 
actually occurred. 

One of the Spanish slavers bound for our coasts 
was overhauled by the English pirate Lewis. She 
was a fast sailer and had nearly escaped when Lewis 


In the Caribbean 

ripped a handful of hair from his head, flung it to 
the wind, and shouted, " Ho, Satan, keep that till I 
come." Instantly the wind rose to a gale. In a 
few minutes the Spaniard was in the hands of the 
pirates, and the slaves, being only an encumbrance, 
were tossed overboard to the sharks, as one might 
fling away a damaged cargo. One of the black 
men was a dwarf, gnarly, wrinkled, misshapen, 
with eyes that blazed like a cat's in the dark. No 
sooner had this man been pushed over the side than 
he uttered an ear-splitting yell, and seemed to bound 
back to the deck. It was a cat, however, not a 
human being, that was seen to rush into the cabin, 
and it looked into Lewis's face with the same 
shining, menacing eyes that he had seen in the 
dwarf. A negro boy who had been spared to act 
as a servant for the captain having unconsciously 
roused his anger, Lewis rushed upon him with his 
sword, cut him through the heart and beat his 
corpse, the cat sitting by and squealing with glee at 
the sight. When a mate struck at the animal in a 
sort of disgust and fear, the creature leaped at him 
and almost blinded him with its claws. From that 
time the cat became Lewis's familiar ; was before 
him at the table, on his pillow when he slept, on 
his shoulder when he gave orders. The crew 
agreed that it could be none other than the devil 
himself. On Lewis's last night alive, while he was 
quite drunk, the cat seemed to be whispering into 
his ear. He arose and staggered away, saying, 


Myths and Legends 

" The devil says I shall be killed to-night." An 
hour later his ship was boarded by French pirates, 
and Lewis was despatched. After scratching the 
faces of nearly all the enemy, the cat ran up the 
mainmast, throwing off sparks and screeching, 
scrambled to the end of the topsail-yard, and leaped 
off into the night. 

Morgan, the English sea robber, had captured a 
number of Spanish prisoners in Panama, among 
them a woman of beauty and distinction, who had 
been left without other protection than that of a 
faithless servant during her husband's absence in 
Peru. The dignity and refinement of his prisoner 
made a certain impression on Morgan. After he had 
put to sea a cabin was reserved for her, she was 
treated with respect by the crew, but a guard kept 
her in sight always. The gross nature of the pirate 
disclosed itself in a few days, when, fresh from a 
debauch and reeking with the odors of rum, he 
forced her cabin door and attempted to embrace her. 
She sprang back with a cry of loathing, and grasping 
a dagger swore that if he ever intruded himself in 
her presence again she would drive the weapon 
into her own heart, since she could never hope to 
reach his by any means, violent or gentle. In a 
fit of anger, the pirate ordered his sailors to cast her 
into the hold among the slaves and hostages, there 
to endure fever, crowding, hunger, and thirst. 

A week or two later these lean, half-dead wretches 
were kicked out of their dark and stifling dungeon 


In the Caribbean 

to be sold to some planters. A woman among them 
asked for a few words with Morgan. Haggard, 
tear-stained, ragged, neglected as she was, the cap- 
tain did not at first recognize her as the one whom 
he had insulted by his show of love. When he 
did recall her name and state he asked indifferently 
what she wanted. She told him that an injustice 
had been done ; that she had at first told him it 
was in her power to buy her liberty, believing it 
to be so ; but her hope was destroyed, and she was 
so ill and wasted that she would be useless as a 
slave. As she was going on board of the ship 
she had whispered to a couple of Spanish priests 
telling them where her money was concealed, and 
asking them to pay her ransom with it. They 
also were under guard, but they persuaded one of 
the buccaneer officers to go with them, recovered 
the money, bought their own freedom with it, and 
ran away. Hearing this, Morgan sent the woman 
back to Panama, succeeded in capturing the priests, 
and sold them into slavery. 

It is said of Morgan that he had a fire ship, which 
he would tow as close as possible to the fleets of his 
enemies, both to draw their fire and kindle a more 
disastrous one. What appeared to be its crew 
were logs of wood, placed upright between the bul- 
warks, each log surmounted by a hat. As to fire, 
it is recorded that Teach, or Blackbeard, now and 
then shut himself into his cabin and burned sulphur 
to prove to his crew that he was a devil. He used 


Myths and Legends 

to tie his whiskers with red ribbons into pigtails 
that he tucked over his ears, and he looked the part. 
Yet he was less of a monster than L'Olonnais, who 
so hated Spaniards that he would not only slaughter 
his prisoners, but would bite their hearts like a 
savage beast after he had cut them out. Beside 
Blackbeard there was a Redbeard and a Bluebeard. 
All three of these gentlemen had castles in St. 
Thomas, and that of Bluebeard had a room in which 
it is alleged that he killed his wives after the fashion 
of his Eastern relative. 


SIR FRANCIS DRAKE, destroyer of many of 
the " invincible" ships of Spain, came to 
America with Sir John Hawkins, to subdue the 
Spanish colonies with the heaviest fleet he ever com- 
manded. Though wrangles between the com- 
manders made this expedition a comparative failure, 
still wherever the head of a don was seen, a crack- 
ing blow was struck at it. War was a crueller 
business then than it is to-day, in spite of our high 
explosives, our armored ships, our mighty guns, and 
our nimble tactics, and things were done that no 
captain would dare in these times ; at least, no cap- 
tain with a fear of the world's rebuke, or that of 
his own conscience. Just before Christmas, 1594, 
Drake was scourging the coast of Colombia, burn- 
ing houses, and shipping and despoiling the towns. 


In the Caribbean 

The people of one village near Rio de la Hache, 
having been warned of his coming, buried their 
little property, closed their houses, put fifty of their 
children on a fishing smack, while they hurriedly 
provisioned some boats to carry all the people to a 
distant cape, where they would remain in hiding 
until after Drake had destroyed their homes and 
passed on. The fisherman who owned the smack 
set sail too soon ; he was separated from the others 
in a gale, and Drake, who then appeared, ran be- 
tween him and the shore, and with a couple of shots 
drove him farther into the wild sea. The smack 
never returned. After the English had passed, the 
people watched for it, and, truly, on the next day, 
a boat was seen beating against the gale and trying 
to make the pier. As it came nearer, the parents 
saw their children holding out their arms and laugh- 
ing. Then the outlines of the hull and sail grew 
dim, the children's forms drooped as if weary, and 
in another moment the vision had passed. Long 
was the grief and loud were the curses on the 
English. When Drake learned that he had fired on 
a harmless fishing vessel and driven a company of 
little ones away from land to be sunk in a tempest, 
he was filled with compunction and misgiving. 
The same vision that the parents had seen crossed 
the path of his own ships. Before every storm the 
boat of phantoms appeared, and when he sailed for 
Escudo and Porto Bello it followed him. Wearied 
with many wars, ill with tropical fever, repentant 


Myths and Legends 

for this useless killing, he sank into a depression 
from which nothing could rouse him, and in Jan- 
uary he died on his ship, at Nombre de Dios. His 
remains were consigned to a sailor's grave — the wide 
ocean — and as the ship moved on her way, the 
crew, looking back to the place where the body had 
gone down, saw the phantom smack rise from the 
deep, rush like a wind-blown wrack across the 
spot, and melt into the air as it neared the shore. 


THOUGH Columbus made his first landing in 
Porto Rico at Naguabo, where the Caribs 
afterward destroyed a Spanish settlement, he gave its 
present name to the island when he put in Aguada 
for water. Charmed with the beauty of the bay, 
the opulence of vegetation, the hope of wealth in 
the river sands, he christened it ** the rich port," 
and extending this, applied to the whole island the 
name of San Juan Bautista de Puerto Rico — St. 
John the Baptist of the Rich Port. The natives 
knew their island as Boriquen. Later came Ponce 
de Leon, who founded Caparra, now Pueblo Viejo, 
across the bay from San Juan, to which spot he 
shifted a little later and built the white house that 
may still be seen. San Juan is the oldest city of 
white origin in the Western world, except Santo 
Domingo, albeit Santiago de Cuba and Baracoa claim 


In the Caribbean 

to be contemporary. The body of Ponce is buried 
in San Juan, in the church of Santo Domingo. 

When this fair island was claimed by Spain, it 
had a population of over half a million, but Ponce 
at once set about the extinction of the native ele- 
ment. The populace w^as simple, affectionate, con- 
fiding, and in showing friendship for the invaders it 
invited and obtained slavery. It has been ingen- 
iously advanced that the Spaniards disliked the 
natives because of the cleanliness of the latter. On 
account of the heat they wore no clothing, to ab- 
sorb dirt and perspiration, and bathed at least once 
every day. In those times white people were 
frugal in the use of water, Spain being more pro- 
nounced against it than almost any other nation. 
Listen to one of the Spanish writers, though he is 
talking, not of our Indians, but of the Moors : 
" Water seems more needed by these infidels than 
bread, for they wash every day, as their damnable 
religion directs them to, and they use it in baths, 
and in a thousand other idle fashions, of which Span- 
iards and other Christians can make little account." 
We know that a Spanish queen refrained, not only 
from washing, but from changing her clothes for a 
whole year. The Porto Ricans were naked, but 
unaware of their nakedness, therefore they were 
moderately virtuous ; at least, more virtuous than 
their conquerors. Had they been treated with jus- 
tice and mercy they would have remained friendly 
to the white men, and would have been of great 
4 49 

Myths and Legends 

service to them in the development of the island. 
As early as 151 2, Africans were shipped to the 
island to take the places, at enforced labor, of the 
Indians who had been destroyed. A religion was 
forced down the throats of the natives that they 
did not understand, especially as the friars preached 
it; and being unable at once to grasp the meaning 
or appreciate the value of discourses on the spiritual 
nature, the trinity, vicarious atonement, transub- 
stantiation, and the intercession of saints, the sol- 
diers, always within call, followed their custom when 
the congregations proved intractable : killed them. 

It is said that the Spaniards acquired such ease in 
the slaying of Indians that they would crack a man's 
head merely to see if it would split easily or if 
their swords were keeping their edge, and that they 
varied their more direct and merciful slaughters by 
roasting one of the despised infidels occasionally. 
Slavery in damp mines, fevers in swamps, unaccus- 
tomed work, strain, anxiety, grief, insufficient food, 
lack of liberty, separation from friends and families, 
killed more than the sword. It was the same in all 
the conquered lands. In Hayti a million people 
were oppressed out of existence or slain outright in 
fifteen years, and but sixty-five thousand were left. 
In less than a century that island had not a single 
native. So in Porto Rico : not a man is to be found 
there to-day who is a pure-blooded aborigine. Even 
their relics and monuments, their traditions and his- 
tory, were obliterated by their conquerors — the race 


In the Caribbean 

that destroyed the libraries of the Moors and the 
picture records of the Aztecs. Few even of their 
burial places are known, although the Cave of the 
Dead, near Caguana, was so named because of the 
Indian skeletons found in it. 

Some of the tools and implements of stone found 
on the island are so strange that one cannot even 
guess their purpose. Of the heavy stone collars 
that have been preserved, a priest holds that they 
were placed about the necks of the dead, that the 
devil might not lift them out of their graves, but 
this sounds like an invention of the church, for 
there is no proof that a belief in the devil existed 
among these people. They had a god, as well as 
minor spirits, and sang hymns to them ; they had 
some crafts and arts, for they made canoes, huts, 
chairs, nets, hammocks, pottery, weapons, and im- 
plements, and, although the fierce Caribs vexed them 
now and again, they were accounted as the gentlest 
and most advanced of the' native people in the An- 
tilles. Speaking of the hammock, that is one of 
their devices that the world has generally adopted, 
and the name is one of the few Indian words that 
have survived the Spanish oppressions, though there 
are many geographic titles. Other familiar survivals 
are the words hurricane, canoe, tobacco, potato, 
banana, and a few other botanical names. 

It is probable that these Boriquenos were allied 
in speech and custom, as well as in blood, to their 
neighbors the Haytiens, of whom saith Peter 


Myths and Legends 

Martyr, " The land among these people is common 
as sun and water. * Mine' and * thine,' the seeds 
of all mischief, have no place among them. They 
are content with so little that in this large country 
they have more than plenty. They live in a golden 
world without toil, in open gardens, not intrenched, 
defended, or divided. They deal truly with one 
another, without laws, judges, or books. He that 
will hurt another is an evil man, and while they 
take no pleasure in superfluity, they take means to 
increase the roots that are their food — diet so simple 
that their health is assured." Still, it is known 
that in their defence against the marauding Caribs 
the Porto Ricans were courageous, and had be- 
come adept with arrow and club, and it was believed 
by some of the first explorers that they ate their 

The aborigines of Porto Rico probably diiFered 
little, if at all, from the Haytiens in their faith in 
an all-powerful, deathless god, who had a mother 
but no father, who lived in the sky and was repre- 
sented on earth by zemes or messengers. Every 
chief had his zemi, carved in stone or wood, as a 
tutelary genius, to whom he addressed his prayers 
and who had a temple of his own. Zemes directed 
the wind, waves, rains, rivers, floods, and crops, 
gave success or failure in the hunt, and gave visions 
to or spoke with priests who had worked them- 
selves into a rhapsodic state by the use of a drug 
(it may have been tobacco), in order to receive 


In the Caribbean 

the message, which often concerned the health of a 
person or of a whole village. The Spaniards re- 
garded these manitous as images of the devil, and in 
order to keep them the natives hid the little effigies 
from the friars and the troops. In the festivals of 
these gods there were dances, music, and an offering 
of flower-decorated cakes. 

Hayti was the first created, the sun and moon 
came from the cave near Cape Haytien known as 
la voute a Minguet, through a round hole in the 
roof. Men came from another cave, the big ones 
through a large door, the little men from a smaller 
one. They were without women for a long time, 
because the latter lived in trees and were slippery ; 
but some men with rough hands finally pulled four 
of them down from the branches, and the world 
was peopled. At first, the men dared to leave their 
cave only at night, for the sun was so strong it 
turned them to stone, though one man who was 
caught at his fishing by the sun became a bird that 
still sings at night, lamenting his fate. When a 
chief was dying in pain he was mercifully strangled, 
— though the common people were allowed to lin- 
ger to their end, — and his deeds were rehearsed in 
ballads sung to the drum. There was a belief in 
ghosts, albeit they could not be seen in the light, 
unless in a lonely place, nor by many persons. 
When they did mingle with the people it was easy 
to distinguish them from the living, as they had no 
navel. What became of the wicked after death we 


Myths and Legends ' 

do not know, but the good went to a happy place 
where they met those whom they loved, and lived 
among women, flowers, and fruits. During the 
day the departed souls hid among the mountains, 
but peopled the fairest valleys at night, and in order 
that they should not suffer from hunger the living 
were careful to leave fruit on the trees. 

From these quaint and simple faiths the people 
were roused by the professors of a more enlightened 
one, who made their teaching useless, however, if 
not odious, to the brown people by their practises. 
It was an old belief, at least among the Haytiens, 
that a race of strangers, with bodies clad, would 
cross the sea and would reduce the people to servi- 
tude. This prophecy may have made them the 
more unwilling to yield to the Spaniards, in respect 
of religious faith, despite the signs and wonders 
that were shown to them. When chief Guarionex 
raided a Spanish chapel and destroyed the sacred 
images within, the shattered statues were buried in 
a garden, and the turnips and radishes planted there 
came up in the form of the cross. But even this 
did not convince the savages, whom it became 
necessary to burn, in order to smooth the way to 


In the Caribbean 


LIKE many unschooled peoples, the Antillean 
tribes had their legend of a time when the 
earth was covered by a flood. The island of St. 
Thomas was one of the first to rise out of the sea. 
The Haytiens said that the deluge did not subside 
and that the present islands are the summits of 
mountains that formerly towered to a great height 
above the plains. Far back in the days when people 
lived more simply, and white men, with their abom- 
inable contrivings for work, had not even been in- 
vented, a cacique or chief of their island killed his 
son, who had tried to harm him, albeit when the lad 
was dea-d a natural affection prompted the father to 
clean his bones and conceal them in a gourd. Some 
time afterwards the cacique and his wife opened this 
vegetable tomb, to look on the mortal relics of their 
child, when a number of fish jumped out. Believ- 
ing that he now had in the gourd a magic receptacle, 
from which he could take food at any time, the chief 
placed it on his roof, where mischief-makers might 
not reach it. While absent on a hunting-trip his 
four surviving sons took down the gourd to see what 
peculiar properties it had, and why it had been thus 
set apart. In passing it from one to the other it fell 
and was broken into little pieces. Instantly a vast 
quantity of water gushed from it, increasing in vol- 
ume every instant. The water arose so that it 
reached their knees, and they had to climb the hills. 


Myths and Legends 

Whales, sharks, porpoises, dolphins, and smaller 
creatures came swimming forth, and the flow of 
the water never ceased until the whole world was 
flooded, as we see it now, for the ocean came from 
that gourd. 


THE first Spaniards to reach the American 
islands were everywhere greeted as heav- 
enly visitors, and the natives would not have been 
astonished had the caravels spread their sails — their 
wings, as they first were called — and flown into the 
clouds, carrying Columbus and his wrangling, jeal- 
ous, sensual, gold-greedy company with him. After- 
w^ard they would have been more astonished than 
sorry. When the white men discovered this simple 
faith among the savages they encouraged it, for it 
induced the Indians to give up their wives, daugh- 
ters, houses, weapons, and, above all else, their gold, 
to the strangers. The little bells and beads they 
gave in return were treasured because of their celes- 
tial origin and adored as fervently as the bones of 
saints are adored in some of the European churches. 
Everywhere and always the demand was for gold, 
and in the belief that the supply was going to last 
forever, Spain began to ruin herself with more in- 
dustry than she had ever shown in peaceful callings. 
Her wars, her splendors, her vanities, her neglect of 
education and morality, bore their fruit when she 


In the Caribbean 

pulled her flag down from the staff on Havana's 
Moro, and gave up her claims to the last foot of land 
in the Western v^^orld. 

Ponce de Leon permitted the fiction that the 
Spaniards were angels — save the mark ! — for it 
smoothed his progress in stripping the Porto Ricans 
of their poor little possessions, taking their lands for 
settlement, foraging over the island, forcing his re- 
ligion upon them, and compelling them to serve him 
as miners, carriers, farmers, fishermen, and laborers. 
Many died because it was thought to be cheaper to 
work them to death and get fresh ones than to feed 
them. After a time the Indians began to have doubts, 
and when the friars enlarged on the glories of heaven, 
and described it as the abode of Spaniards, more of 
them than Hatuey were anxious to be allowed to go 
to the other place. They did not at first dare to 
attack the intruders, for what could men avail against 
gods, and of what use were spears and clubs against 
their thunderous arms and- smashing missiles? 

As the aggressions increased and became less and 
less endurable. Chief Agueynaba resolved, out of the 
soreness of his heart, to test this reputed immortality 
of his guests. A messenger, one Salzedo, was to be 
sent away from San Juan on some official errand, 
with a little company of natives as freighters and 
servants. This was Agueynaba's chance. He or- 
dered his men to slip Salzedo into a river and hold 
him under water for a time. If he was an immortal 
this would not hurt him, and if he died, why — they 


Myths and Legends 

would try very hard to bear up under the loss. 
While crossing the river — the spot is still shown — 
the men who bore Salzedo on their shoulders pitched 
him off and detained him beneath the surface for a 
couple of hours ; then, fearing that he might be 
still alive and vicious, they put him on a bank and 
howled apologies to his remains for three days. 
By that time there was no longer a doubt about his 
deadness. Reports of this discovery traversed the 
island with the speed of a South American mail ser- 
vice, so that within a week people even forty miles 
away had heard about it. Thus encouraged to re- 
sistance by the discovery that white men were mor- 
tal, the populace fell upon their persecutors and 
troubled them, although after one defeat the Span- 
iards rallied and drove the Indians back to the 


WHEN Ponce de Leon visited and conquered 
Porto Rico he heard of the elixir of life. 
It may not have been among the springs of that 
island, but the natives had a faith in it and some of 
them referred it to the Bahamas. Their possible 
reason for this was to persuade the white men to go 
there and look for it, for they were not popular in 
Porto Rico, and this was the more to be regretted 
in Ponce's case, because he was far from popular at 
home. At the court of Ferdinand and Isabella was 
a page who was handsome, spirited, and saucy. One 


In the Caribbean 

of the daughters of the royal pair, wearied with the 
forms and ceremonies of her state, which, in the 
most punctilious court in Europe, were especially- 
trying, found means to converse with this well- 
appearing, quick-witted scamp. A tattling courtier, 
recalling 2i faux pas of the last queen, and desiring 
no more scandals, reported that the princess had 
been seen to smile on the youngster. No guilt was 
proven upon him, but handsome pages were ill- 
chosen company for young women of blue blood. 

Ponce de Leon was the page, and he was sent to 
the New World to discover something to the advan- 
tage of his own modesty, and incidentally to accu- 
mulate for shipment anything that might be useful 
to the Spanish treasury. He landed in Boriquen, as 
Porto Rico was then called, and began a general 
subjugation and slaughter of the natives. Some were 
slain in battle, but thousands were carried away and 
made to work in mines and on distant plantations, as 
slaves, until their health was destroyed, and they, too, 
were no longer an obstacle to Spanish control, though 
the lack of their hands was a hindrance to Spanish en- 
terprise. Ponce took his share of the gold and treas- 
ure he had forced these unfortunates to supply, and 
went back to Spain with it. Sea air had spoiled 
his complexion, fighting had roughened his manners, 
slave-driving had made his voice coarse. Possibly, 
also, his princess had recovered from her disappoint- 
ment. Maybe she had been married oiF to some 
nobody of Portugal, or France, or Austria, for state 


Myths and Legends 

reasons, and had entered on the usual loveless life of 
royalty. Or she may have beguiled her maidenly 
solitude by drinking much wine of Oporto, Madeira, 
and Xeres vs^ith her dinner, thereby acquiring that 
amplitude of girth, that ruddiness of countenance, 
and that polish of nose, which add so little to ro- 
mance. At all events, we hear nothing more of the 

In the course of years Ponce took to himself the 
gout, rheumatism, dyspepsia, and a few such matters, 
and he scolded his dresser more than usual because 
his clothes did not lit at the waist as they had done, 
once. He parted his hair with a towel, and it was 
grizzled where it curled about his neck and temples. 
Then he recalled the tales the Boriqueiios had told 
of the bright waters that gushed from the earth 
amid banks of flowers, — waters so sweet that who 
drank would drink again, and with every draught 
would throw off years and pain until at last he was 
a youth once more, — a youth with hot blood, spark- 
ling eyes, lithe muscles ; a youth who saw the world 
full of beauty and adventure. Ah, to be once more 
as he was when the princess beamed on him ; to 
throw away his cares, his ails, his conscience, his 
regrets ; to sing and dance, to ruffle it with other 
cavaliers, to dice, to drink, to feast, to win the smiles 
of ladies ! It was a joy worth trying to attain. 

He sailed once more, an older, sober man. He 
discovered Florida, bathed in its springs, drank from 
its flower-edged streams, but to no avail. Bimini, 


In the Caribbean 

the place of the living waters, evaded him. Bori- 
quen, renamed Porto Rico, could offer no more. But, 
though his living presence passed, the first building 
on the island — the White House, near San Juan — 
remains, and he left his name in the town that was 
first among the Antillean cities to raise the flag of a 
republic that should wave over the continent he had 
helped to discover and colonize ; — the city of Ponce. 


AS in most of the Spanish American countries, 
so in Porto Rico, ghosts are common, — so 
common that in some towns the people hardly turn 
to look at them ; and if on a wild night in the hur- 
ricane season they hear them gibbering at their 
doors, they patter an ave or throw a piece of har- 
ness at the disturbance, and sleep again. Ponce, for 
instance, has a number of these spooks, such as the 
man who searches for his- hidden money, and the 
child with a snowy face that knocks on the panes, 
then stares fixedly in, with corpse eyes, at the win- 
dows. Best known among these supernatural citi- 
zens are two lovers who " spoon" on dark nights, and 
are faintly outlined on the landscape as figures of quiv- 
ering, smoky blue. Their favorite haunt is their 
death-place, eight miles from Ponce, in a hollow 
among limestone hills, now environed by a coffee 
plantation. Here are found three basins — results of 
erosion, most likely — that are described as natural 


Myths and Legends 

bath-tubs. The middle and largest of these pools 
is partly filled with silt, probably occluding the en- 
trance to a cavern which formerly opened into it, a 
fathom or so below the water-surface. This cave 
was the hiding-place of a native woman whose 
father had discovered her love for one of Ponce de 
Leon's soldiers. He forbade her to have anything 
to do with the enemies of his country, enlarged on 
their rapacity, cruelty, and treachery, and tried to 
create in her a sense of shame that she should have 
chosen a Spaniard, instead of a Boriqueno chief, for 
a lover. There were no locksmiths in the Antilles 
for love to laugh at, but there were spears and knives 
to fear, and the young couple, who seemed to be in- 
spired by genuine affection, met at this lonely spot to 
do their courting. On the least suspicion of a hos- 
tile approach, the maid could slip into the water, 
enter the cave, and wait for an hour or a day, until 
the intruder had retired. However it happened 
nobody could tell, — or would, — but the Spaniard was 
found drowned one morning in that pool. He may 
have been found waiting there, by the angry parent, 
thrown in, on general principles, and held to the 
bottom by his steel arms and armor; or he may have 
been trying to find the cave in which his charmer 
had secreted herself, and while so engaged may have 
bumped his head against the rocky wall and stunned 
himself, or he may have been a poor swimmer and 
lost his wits and his wind. At all events, drowned 
he was, and the dusky virgin who loved him, seeing 


In the Caribbean 

his form at the bottom of the water, sang her sorrow 
chant, dived in, and, holding to his body, perished 
wilfully at his side. Their love endures, and that 
is why their luminous shadows sit at the brink of 
the pool, with locked arms and meeting lips, to the 
disgust of voting women and confirmed bachelors. 

This legend, with variants, is found in many parts 
of the world. There are two or three instances of 
it in the Hawaiian islands, and a tradition pertaining 
to Hayti is worth quoting here, as it refers to the 
same period and illustrates the same enmity between 
the white and native races. Near the city of San 
Domingo is, or was, a " water cave," so named be- 
cause the entrance to it was several feet below the 
lake whose shore it undermines. When the young 
half-breed, Diaz, returned from Spain to his native 
island of Hispaniola in 1520, his mother, Zameaca, 
queen of the Ozamas, had disappeared, possibly 
killed outright by the Spaniards, or more slowly 
killed by enslavement at the mines in vainly trying 
to satisfy the rapacity of the white race for gold. 
Diaz, though partly of Spanish blood, was allied in 
his sympathies to the Indians. Hence, they planned 
to make him ruler. Their conspiracy was quelled 
for the time being, with such brutality that those 
natives who escaped death hated their tyrants with a 
deeper hatred than ever, and fixed them the more 
strongly in their resolution to be avenged. The 
leading chiefs and warriors of the Ozamas took 
refuge in the water cave, spying on their enemies 
and going about to make converts among the islanders 


Myths and Legends 

at night. It was not long before the watchful 
Spaniards discovered that mischief was afoot, and 
there were reasons for believing that the chiefs had 
their hiding place not many miles from town. By 
following various suspects into the country, and 
noticing the time and way of their return, they be- 
came convinced that the leaders of the rebellion 
were somewhere near the lake. 

A young woman, a slave in the family of the 
Spanish governor, was so often absent on mysterious 
errands that the authorities at last fixed on her as 
the one most likely to betray her countrymen. She 
was won to their purpose through her vanity. Her 
mistress had a comb of elaborate and curious work- 
manship, and to have one like it was the principal 
object in her existence. The governor told her 
that she should have this priceless treasure itself if 
she would tell him where the chiefs were meeting. 
To this act of treachery she finally agreed on condition 
that her lover, who was one of the chiefs, should be 
pardoned. That evening she carried bread and fruit 
to the lake, and sitting on the bank sang loudly for 
some minutes. The Spanish soldiers, who were 
watching from the shrubbery, were astonished to 
see a man rise like a seal from the water, swim to 
the shore, take the parcel from the girl's hands, ex- 
change a few words with her, and disappear again 
beneath the surface. The song was a signal for one 
of the men to come out and receive the food, and 
it was heard through a crevice in the cave roof, 


In the Caribbean 

Next day the girl sang again, and the whole com- 
pany left the cave. They had no sooner gained the 
shore than the Spaniards sprang from the shrubbery 
and surrounded them. As they were led away to 
death, one of the chiefs levelled his finger at the 
girl and said, ** I am going to a land of peace. You 
will never find the way to it." Her lover cast her 
off with bitter reproaches. Then, as the murderous 
volley pealed across the fields, and the rebellion was 
ended, her heart broke. She still sits at the lake- 
side in the evening, weeping over her comb, 


HAD any Dutchman been charged with intend- 
ing a kindnesss to the dons when his 
country was smarting under the Spanish scourge 
he would have offered the life of some distant rela- 
tive to disprove the accusation. Without a guess 
that he could be injuring his own land and enrich- 
ing that of his enemy, an innocent magistrate of Am- 
sterdam did that for which he would afterward have 
submitted to the abuse of his friends, and if sack- 
cloth and ashes had been in vogue he would have 
worn them. It all came about through his wish to 
be pleasant to a Frenchman, the same being Louis 
XIV. He sent to this monarch a curiosity in the 
form of a young coffee-tree, thinking, no doubt, 
that a warm corner could be found for it in the Jardin 

5 65 

Myths and Legends 

des Plantes among the orchids and cacti, and little 
recking that Louis had a Spanish father-in-law. At 
that time Holland enjoyed, in her colonies, almost a 
monopoly of the coffee trade of the world, but that one 
little tree broke her monopoly, just as one little leak 
in her dikes led to the eating away of miles of earth- 
ern wall and an in-rush and devastation of the sea. 

For Louis was more clever than some other 
kings, almost clever enough to have been in trade, 
or else he had smart advisers. He had slips cut 
from the coffee tree, and ere many moons had 
passed a promising dozen of young plants were 
ready for shipment to Martinique, the new French 
colony in the Antilles. A botanist was sent in 
charge of them, it being the purpose of Louis to 
turn the island into a coffee plantation and be free 
of obligation to Holland. The voyage was long, 
because of head winds and storms, and the precious 
plants were in peril. Long before the American 
shores were reached the water supply had run low, 
and there was much suffering ; yet the loyal botanist 
gave up half of his daily allowance in order that his 
coffee-trees should live. Salt water would have killed 
them, and in those days ships had no distilling ap- 
paratus. Martinique was reached in safety, how- 
ever, the little trees struck their roots into congenial 
soil, and thus the seeds, such as first yielded their 
aroma to a surprised and gratified Abyssinian chief 
more than a thousand years before, now spring 
from the strong earth of the Western world. 


In the Caribbean 

Whether Spaniards stole some of these trees, or 
bought them, or whether they got away by accident, 
certes, they reached Porto Rico, and so became a 
source of pleasure and profit to people whom the 
Dutchman did not have in mind when he made his 
little gift to King Louis. It is believed that all the 
coffee raised in Batavia for the Dutch also grew from 
a handful of seeds that had been sent from Arabia 
to Java. And, oh, that ever the time should have 
come when France had to buy coiFee from her own 
plant in Porto Rico, and send to that same island for 
logwood to make claret with, — the kind she sells to 
New York for bohemian tables d'hote ! 


THE castle of San Geronimo, San Juan de 
Porto Rico, was founded a century ago. It 
occupies a rocky point at the east end of San Juan 
Island, and year by year ' had been strengthened 
until, when the American ships appeared in the 
offing, it was thought important enough to garrison. 
Six guns were emplaced, two other gun mounts 
were found by our troops when they entered, and a 
hole was discovered extending from a dungeon fifteen 
feet toward the breastworks. This had been freshly 
dug, and, it is believed, was devised for the storage 
of explosives, that the citadel might be blown up 
when the boys in blue entered to take possession. 
That the fort was abandoned without resorting to 


Myths and Legends 

this revengeful and unmilitary act may be due to the 
ghost. He would naturally be in evidence at such 
a time, and would do what he could to thwart the 
schemes of his enemies. For he gave his body to 
the worms fifty years or more ago. In the flesh 
he was a revolutionist, and had been dreaming vain 
things about liberty for his beloved island. It is 
not recorded that he ever harmed any one, or that 
his little insurrection attained the dignity of any- 
thing more than a rumor and an official chill, but 
the Spaniards caught him, threw him into the dark 
prison of this castle, and after he had undergone 
hunger, thirst, and illness, they went through their 
usual forms of trial and condemned him to death. 
This among the civilized would have meant that he 
would be sent to the gallows or the garrote ; but 
this victim was alleged to have accomplices, and 
quite likely he was suspected of having a small 
fund ; for the first thing to do when you overthrow 
a government, or want to, is to pass the hat. To 
secure the names of his fellow-conspirators, but 
more especially their money, the revolutionist was 
therefore consigned to the torture chamber, where 
the rack, the thumb-screw, the hot irons, the whip, 
and other survivals of the Inquisition were applied. 
When the officers had extorted what they wanted, 
or had made sure there was nothing to extort, the 
poor, white wreck of a human being was delivered 
by the judges to an executioner, and a merciful 
death was inflicted. 


In the Caribbean 

Shortly after this occurrence the officers of the 
San Geronimo garrison began to request transfers, 
and the social set that had been formed in and near 
the castle was broken up. Gradually the troops 
thinned away, and although the works were kept in 
moderate repair and occasionally enlarged, the reg- 
ular force was finally withdrawn, and even the soli- 
tary keepers who were left in charge died unac- 
countably. This was because the ghost of the 
tortured one pervaded its damp rooms and breathed 
blights and curses on the occupants. Its appearance 
was always heralded by a clatter of hoofs on the 
stone bridge leading into the court. The on-rush 
of spectre horses is variously explained, some be- 
lieving that the dead man is leading an assault on the 
fort, others wondering if it may not be a conscience- 
smitten governor hurrying to rescue or reprieve his 
victim, and arriving too late, — a theory quite gen- 
erally rejected on the ground that there never was 
that kind of a Spanish governor. 

An American officer, who took up his home in 
San Geronimo after the occupation, was disturbed for 
three successive nights by the ghost, and on learn- 
ing the tradition of the place he investigated the 
palace and brought to light the torture chamber with 
its rows of hooks and rings and chains about the 
walls. The piercing of its roof, so that the sun 
came in and the ghosts and malaria went out, the re- 
moval of the grim relics of mediaevalism, the clean- 
ing and whitewashing of the apartments, have 


Myths and Legends 

probably induced the spectre to take up his quarters 
elsewhere, for his old haunts are hardly recogniz- 
able, and he can have no grudge against the soldiers 
of a republic who carried out his plans with a per- 
fection and promptness of which he could not have 

The climate of the West Indies has ever been 
favorable to the preservation of spirits, and this 
haunted castle of San Juan has counterparts in the 
island, and in other islands, and the ghosts are not 
always victims of the Spaniards, either. The ap- 
pearance of spectres in the New World was almost 
contemporary with Columbus. Indeed, one of the 
most startling of supernatural appearances occurred 
in the town he founded, — the town of Isabella, 
Hayti, the first white man's city in America. It 
was created by the great navigator on his second 
voyage, but it remained for only a few years on the 
map. The dons whom he brought with him re- 
fused to work, even when the colony was starving, 
and reported him in Spain as a tyrant for asking 
them to put up their own shelters, cook their own 
food, and grind their own flour. They would 
not even work in the mines where gold could 
be seen in the river sands, because they had ex- 
pected to pick up the metal in lumps, or force it 
from the natives in such quantities that each ad- 
venturer might return with a bushel. Hardship, 
illness, short commons, the need of occasional labor, 
the heart-breaks over the gold failure, the retaliations 


In the Caribbean 

of the natives for the cruelties and injustices of the 
invaders, led to the rapid decline of the city of 
Isabella. Its foundations may still be visible ; at 
least they were a few years ago ; but it is peopled 
only by ghosts. Some years after it had been 
deserted, two Spaniards, who had been hunting in 
that part of the island, entered its ruined streets. 
They had heard from the Indians of strange, boom- 
ing voices that echoed among its dead houses, but 
had dismissed this tale as invention or fancy. The 
sun was low and mists were gathering. As the 
hunters turned a corner they were astonished to see 
a company of cavaliers drawn up in double rank, 
as if for parade, sword on hip, plumed hats aslant, 
big booted, leather jacketed, grim, and silent. The 
two men asked whence they had come. The 
cavaliers spoke no word, but all together lifting their 
hats in salute, lifted their heads off with them, 
then melted into air. They were the dead of the 
fated town. The two spectators fainted with 
horror, and did not recover their peace of mind in 
many days. 


FOR three centuries a Spanish convict station was 
kept in Porto Rico. The unpleasant and un- 
desirable found, not a welcome here, but a more con- 
genial company than in the home land. Life was 
easier because one needed less food and clothes, and 


Myths and Legends 

they were furnished by the authorities, anyway. 
What with the convicts and discontented slaves, it is a 
wonder that any sort of comfort or safety existed on 
the island, and especially that so much of pleasant 
social life was to be found in the cities. Those who 
knew Porto Rico in those days, however, say that 
class distinctions were not sharply marked ; that the 
master was kind to the slave, and the slave felt as 
if he were a member of his master's family, rather 
than a dependent ; that the two were often seen at 
the cockpit sitting elbow to elbow, kneeling side 
by side in the same church, greeting the same friends 
or cracking the heads of the same enemies before 
the church doors at Epiphany, and in the humbler 
homes sitting at the same table. 

In those simple times the robber gangs were a 
great vexation. Killing was something to grow 
used to, and a disagreement over cards was liable to 
result in having one's head snipped off by a ma- 
chete ; but to be robbed of one's machete, or of 
one's jug of rum, or of one's only trousers, was a 
sad affliction, and soldiers and police were as active 
as Spanish functionaries could persuade themselves 
to be, in running down — or walking down — these 
outlaws. It is said that the detectives were espe- 
cially amusing. They would go about in such ob- 
vious disguises, with misfit wigs, window-glass 
spectacles, and the costumes of priests or notaries, 
that a robber could barely keep his countenance 
when he met them in the street. The thief always 


In the Caribbean 

escaped, either through the incompetence of the 
officers, or by sharing his profits with them. 

But there was one fellow who made such trouble 
that the police began to chafe beneath the public 
criticism. To impugn their honor did not hurt them 
much, though they ruffled a good deal under it, but 
to threaten them with reduction of pay or removal 
was a serious matter; so the chief of the San Juan 
constabulary bestirred himself, after a particularly 
daring robbery had occurred in his bailiwick, the 
rogue making off with six thousand dollars* worth 
of jewelry. He got safely away from town and was 
traced to Humacao, where his footprints were found 
leading to the door of a small, tumble-down, de- 
serted house, and none of these prints could be 
seen with toes pointing away from it. The chief 
dismissed his men and prepared to conduct a siege. 
He had a dagger, a machete, two pistols, and a gun, 
with a box of ammunition. Thus equipped he 
went to the front door, gave it a sounding whack 
with the flat of his machete, and bawled, *'* Open, 
in the name of the law !" 

There was no response, so he struck his weapon 
impatiently against the panels two or three times 
and called on the bandit to emerge and give him- 
self up. Again there was no reply. A bolder 
move was necessary. He pushed open the window, 
crouching down outside, that he might not become 
a target for the fellow, who was probably lurking in 
the dark interior, and after calling on him for a third 


Myths and Legends 

time to appear and go to jail, he thrust his firearms 
in and began to blaze in all directions over the floor. 

After emptying the pistols and gun he shouted, 
** If you don't come out I'll blow you to the bad 
place, for I have one hundred and fifty cartridges 
here, and I can surely shoot you.'* 

All this time the robber had been lying on the 
floor, just below the window, very flat and very 
still. As the chief did not show himself to take 
aim, but reached up from his kneeling position and 
fired at random, the bold, bad man in-doors began 
to feel a return of confidence. He waited until a 
second fusillade was over, when he slipped softly 
through the back door, went around to the front, 
waited until a third volley had been fired, when he 
pounced on the chief from behind, and in a trice 
had a stout rope around him. In a few seconds 
more he had the astonished and indignant functionary 
tied securely to one of the posts of the veranda. 
Then, calmly taking possession of the weapons, he 
lifted his hat, wished the officer a very good day 
and a pleasant siesta, and sauntered off to some other 
town where the police were still less active. 


IF the Spanish colonies have been immoral, it must 
be granted that they have been religious. This 
fact has made them easier to govern, for the words 
of the priests and friars have been accepted as 


In the Caribbean 

divinely inspired at times when, as a matter of fact, 
they have been inspired only by the governor or the 
garrison colonel. The church in the colonies is 
nothing like the modern and American institution 
that we know. It is a survival from the Middle 
Ages. Yet it has shown shrewdness in Porto Rico, 
Cuba, and the Philippines, its prosperity proving 
that the Spaniard can be a thrifty mortal whether 
he wears a monkish cowl or a military uniform. 
Much money has been demanded by the church, 
but much of it has been honestly spent in the beau- 
tifying of altars and the dressing of the statues. 
Our Lady of the Remedies, in the Church of La 
Providencia, San Juan, for example, wears a cloak 
worth fifteen hundred dollars, and is emblazoned 
with twenty thousand dollars' worth of jewels ; but 
then, she is the patron of the island. The priests 
have been quick to see an advantage in benefits or 
disasters and have often impressed the natives by 
lessons drawn from natural phenomena. Thus, in 
1867, a conspiracy for the overthrow of Spanish 
rule had been organized, and violence was hourly 
expected : but on the eve of an uprising the island 
was shaken by an earthquake. The priests made 
the most of this, assuring the natives that it was a 
warning from heaven never to interfere with Span- 
iards ; so the insurrectos stealthily laid down their 
arms and stole away to their various substitutes for 
employment, leaving their Lexington unfought. 
In one way this willingness to keep out of fights has 


Myths and Legends 

been a bad thing for the island, because insurrection 
became a matter of business with some of the natives. 
They used it as a mode of blackmail. These insur- 
rectos would throw a wealthy planter into a state of 
alarm by pretending to hold meetings on his premises. 
He knew that if the authorities got wind of this it 
might go hard with him, for if he were suspected 
of being a member of a lodge of the White Saber 
or the Red Hand, it could mean imprisonment, 
perhaps death ; so he paid the revolution some- 
thing to move on and occur on some other man's 
land. By levying thus on fear and policy a few 
members of an alleged junta managed to live quite 
comfortably without work, and it is whispered that 
the padres of certain villages received their share of 
the reluctant tributes. 

Porto Rico has been the place of abode of some 
noted fathers of the church, including two martyrs 
who were canonized by Pius IX. as saints : Charles 
Spinola and Jerome de Angelis. They left Portugal 
for Goa in 1 596, but having been blown far out of 
their course, they put in at this island to repair their 
ship, and there for two months they preached with 
success. On their return to Lisbon they were cap- 
tured by English pirates, who treated them kindly, 
however, and set them safely down in London. 
They reached Portugal eventually, an4 ended their 
work in Japan, where the people killed them. These 
and other saints receive the prayers of the people on 
stated occasions, for in Porto Rico the saints have 


In the Caribbean 

not only their special days, but their special crops, 
and guard them from special injuries. Thus, the 
farmer prays to St. James, it is said, when he asks 
for deliverance from tobacco-worms, while he must 
address St. Martial if he wants to free his field 
from ants. 

Of the holy hermits who have resided on the 
island, several have dwelt in the caves where Caribs 
or Arawaks buried their dead, but the best-known 
shrine is that of Hormigueros. The Church of Our 
Lady of Monserrate, w^hich crowns a hill and is a 
conspicuous landmark, is said to have been copied 
from the chapel of a Benedictine monastery in Bar- 
celona, which is famous in Spain for its statue of the 
Virgin, carved by St. Luke and carried to Barcelona in 
the year 50 by St. Peter. The Monserrate church 
was founded in 1640 by a poor farmer. He had been 
ploughing over the hill-top, though weak with fever, 
and before he could finish his work he fell to the 
ground exhausted. After he had partly recovered, 
and had gone back to the plough, he turned a tile up 
from the earth, on which was engraved a portrait of 
the Virgin, and no sooner had he taken this object 
into his hands than his pain, his fever, his lassitude 
disappeared. Convinced that the relic was sacred, 
he carried it to his priest, and on that very day he 
gave the land he had ploughed for a votive church. 
It has become the best known sanctuary in Porto 
Rico, for the large painting of the Virgin, copied 
from the smaller portrait on the tile, is just as potent 


Myths and Legends 

as the original in curing diseases. In the last half- 
century a hundred miracles have been performed, 
and the silver and golden arms, legs, ears, eyes, 
fingers, feet, livers, and hearts that have been given 
to the church, in thanks and testimony, amount in 
value to sixty thousand dollars ; for a patient who 
has been cured or helped is expected to send a little 
model, in precious metal, of the part of him that 
needed mending. At intervals these offerings are 
melted up for the altar service and decorations, and 
few churches in America have such resplendent can- 
dlesticks, chalices, draperies and vestments. The altar 
is of silver plates, and the gold cross upon it weighs 
thirteen pounds. Pilgrims to Hormigueros go from 
all parts of the West Indies. They are lodged, free 
of charge, in an old house behind the church, each 
cripple or invalid receiving a bed and chair, but no 
food. The pilgrims must supply their own suste- 
nance. On entering the church, in procession, they 
are sprinkled with water from the Jordan, and then 
kneel before the cross, where the cures are worked. 


IN dime museums and county fairs one may still 
find among the " attractions" a mermaid, dried 
and stuffed, consisting of the upper half of a monkey 
artlessly joined to the lower half or two-thirds of a 
codfish, the monkey's head usually adorned with a 
handful of oakum or horse-hair. When this kind 


In the Caribbean 

of thing was first exhibited by the lamented P. T. 
Barnum, it is just possible that some bumpkin really- 
believed it to be a mermaid, but the invention has 
become so common of late that it is found in the 
curio-shops of every town, and as an eye-catching 
device is often put into show-cases by some merchant 
who deals in anything rather than mermaids. Trite 
and ridiculous as this patchwork appears, it symbol- 
izes a belief of full three thousand years. Men 
have always been prone to fill with imaginations 
what they have never sounded with their senses, and 
it is to this tendency we owe poetry and the arts. 
The sea was a mystery, and is so still. It was easy 
to people its twilight depths with forms of grace 
and beauty and power, for surely the denizens 
taken from it were strange enough to warrant strange 

And so the old faith in men and women who 
lived beneath the water was passed down from gen- 
eration to generation, and from race to race, changing 
but little from age to age. Ulysses stopped the ears 
of his crew with wax that they should not hear the 
sirens luring them toward the rocks as his ship sailed 
by, and knowing the magic of their song had him- 
self bound to the mast, so, hearing the ravishing 
music, he might not escape if he would. In a later 
day we hear of the Lorelei singing on her rock, 
striking chords on her golden harp, and, as the rap- 
tured fisherman steered close, with eyes filled by her 
beauty and ears by her music, he had a moment's 


Myths and Legends 

consciousness of a skull leering at him and harsh 
laughter clattering in echoes along the shore ; then 
his boat struck and filled, and the dark flood curtained 
oft the sky. Wagner has made familiar the legend 
of the Rhine daughters, singing impossibly under 
the river as they swim about the reef of gold, — the 
treasure stolen by the gnome, Alberich, who in that 
act brought envy, strife, greed, and injustice into the 
world, and accomplished the destruction of the gods 
themselves. The wild tales of Britain and Brittany, 
of thefts and revenges by the sea-creatures, are 
among the oldest of their myths, and when we cross 
to our side of the sea, the ocean people are close in 
our wake and they follow us through the fresh waters 
and far out in the Pacific. 

Among the Antilles, as in the South Seas, the 
tritons blow their conchs and shake their shaggy 
heads, while the daughters of the deep gather, at 
certain seasons, on the water, or about some favorite 
rock, and sing. Always, in Eastern versions of the 
myth, there is music, save in the case of Melusina, 
who became a half fish only on Saturdays, when 
her husband was supposed not to be watching, 
and this music follows the myth around the world. 
Among the vague traditions of certain Alaskan In- 
dians is one of an immigration from Asia, under lead 
of ** a creature resembling a man, with long, green 
hair and beard, whose lower part was a fish; or, 
rather, each leg a fish." He charmed them so with 
his singing that they followed him, unconsciously, 


In the Caribbean 

and reached America. We find in Canada the tale 
of a dasky Undine, a soulless water sprite, who, 
through love of a mortal, became human. Some of 
the beings of the sea were of more than human 
power and authority, — gods, in fact ; barbarian 
Neptunes. Such was the Pacific god, Rau Raku, 
who, being entangled in a fishing-net, was lugged 
to the surface, sputtering tremendously. Yet he had 
no grudge against the fisherman. That trembling 
unfortunate was too small for his revenge. He 
would devastate the whole earth to which he had 
been thus unceremoniously dragged, and, bidding 
his captor take himself away while he made trouble, 
he deluged the globe until all upon it had perished, 
except the fish, the fisherman, and a few land animals 
that the sole human survivor had taken to a lofty 
island with him. 

The mermaid of story was a damsel fair to view, 
until she had risen from the waves so as to show her 
fish-like ending. It was her habit to sit on sunny 
beaches, comb her golden hair with a golden comb, 
and sing delightfully, though her wilder sisters would 
perch on juts of rock on lonely islands and scream 
in frightening ways when a gale was coming. When 
the sea-maidens went ashore they sometimes met 
sailors and fishermen, and if they liked these stran- 
gers a frank avowal of love was made ; for it is 
always leap year in the ocean. It was a most un- 
comfortable position for a mortal to be placed in, 
especially one who had a wife waiting for him at 
6 8i 

Myths and Legends 

home, because if their addresses were rejected the 
mermaids were liable to throw stones, and always 
with fatal results ; or they would brew mists, and 
set loose awful storms ; yet, if the man who inspired 
this affection was not coy, and yielded to one of 
these slippery denizens, she dragged him under the 
sea forthwith, unless he could persuade her to com- 
promise on a cave or a lonely rock as a home, for it 
is reputed that mortals have formally wedded them 
and raised amphibious families. On the Isle of Man 
they tell of one caught in a net, who was woman to 
the waist and fish as to the rest of her. As she 
sulked in captivity, refusing to eat or speak, — perhaps 
they forgot to offer raw fish for her supper, — it was 
decided to let her escape ; and as she wriggled over 
the beach she was heard to tell her people (in 
Manx ?), as they arose to greet her, that the earth- 
men did nothing wonderful except to throw away 
water in which they had boiled eggs ! 

The home of the mermaids was at the bottom of 
the deep. A diver, who said he had reached it, re- 
ported a region of clear water, lighted from below 
by great, white stones and pyramids of crystal. 
These haunts contained bowers of coral, gardens of 
bright sea weeds and mosses, tables and chairs of 
amber, floors of iridescent shell and pearls, gems 
strewn about the jasper grottoes, — diamonds, rubies, 
topazes, — and the sea people had combs and orna- 
ments of gold. Columbus was disappointed in the 
mermaids that he saw in the Caribbean. They 


In the Caribbean 

were not, to his eyes, so handsome as the romancers 
had alleged, nor were their voices sweet. The 
doubters claim that he was asleep when the mer- 
maids appeared, and that he saw nothing but the 
sea cow, or manatee, which is neither tuneful nor 


IN following the southern coast of Cuba, Col- 
umbus supposed he was working toward India. 
He died ignorant of the fact that he had discovered 
a new world, and he gave up the exploration of 
this island when almost in sight of open water at 
its western end. Of the first inhabitants of Cuba 
(called by some Macaca, and by others Caboi, 
"land of the dead," for the people killed their 
prisoners), little is known, for they were exter- 
minated as a distinct race, and their few relics were 
disregarded as worthless or destroyed as idolatrous. 
It is believed, however, that they had some knowl- 
edge of the arts ; they worked gold into ornaments, 
and copper and stone into tools and weapons, and 
they wore helmets of feathers, like those of the 
Hawaiian chiefs. Near Bayamo have been found 
farming tools, painted pottery, and little statuettes 
supposed to represent gods. Their houses were 
hardly more than shelters, frames of bamboo or 
light boughs, though they were prettily environed 
by walks and flowers, and their clothing — some- 
times of fur, oftener of leaves and coarse cloth — ■ 


Myths and Legends 

was of the scantiest. Heavy dresses in a tropic coun- 
try, or in a temperate country in tropic weather, 
are manifestly absurd. 

As on the other Antilles, the people of Cuba 
were brown, broad, straight-haired, flat-faced, and 
decorated with slashes and tattooing. They were 
singularly mild, honest, and trusting. They were 
frightened by the Spanish ships, believing them 
to be great birds that had come down from the 
sky, bringing the white adventurers in their brave 
array ; but when Columbus had sent a few beads 
and hawks' bells to them, they expressed their 
confidence and delight in a hundred ways, swam 
and rowed about his caravel offering fish and fruit, 
not in trade, but as gifts, and when a crowd of 
hungry sailors ashore invited themselves to a feast 
that had been prepared for a religious ceremony the 
Indians made no objection, because they could pre- 
pare one like it by another night's work. Food, 
indeed, was free to whoso needed it, like air and 
water, and no stranger needed to go hungry. 
While the Spaniards did little to invite their con- 
fidence, were insolent to most other people and even 
to one another, the Indians set an example of charity 
in conduct and in faith. The dons were intolerant 
of all religions except their own, whereas the Cubans 
were quick to realize that the performance of the 
mass was of some sacred significance, and they pre- 
served a reverent attitude throughout a ceremony 
whose details they did not understand. When mis- 


In the Caribbean 

sionary work had fairly begun it is said that some 
Spaniards drove Indians into the water, forcibly bap- 
tized them, then cut their throats that they might not 
repent their acceptance of the true faith. In their 
own belief there appeared to be a purgatory and a par- 
adise, but no hell or devil ; and, as beliefs reveal the 
character of the people who hold them, it speaks 
well for the Cubans that the grewsome images in- 
voked by certain mediaeval theologians had never 
been created in their more generous imaginations. 
When a soul left the body it had two journeys be- 
fore it : one to a dismal place, where the cruel and 
unjust awaited ; the other to a fair land, like the best 
of earth, where all was pleasant and peaceful ; for, 
in spite of the warlike undertakings made necessary 
by irruptions of the fierce Caribs, these people held 
to peace as the highest good. 

Of these Indians hardly a dozen are remembered 
by their names, but the chief Hatuey was revered 
among them for his courage and his military skill. 
He had fled from Hayti to Cuba in a vain hope of 
escaping his white enemy, and counselled the na- 
tives to throw all their gold into the sea, that the 
Spanish might not linger on their coasts. He might 
have been the one who ordered gold to be melted 
and poured down the throats of his prisoners, that 
for one and the last time they might have enough. 
The Spaniards caught him and burned him to death 
at Baracoa. As he stood on the logs in chains, just 
before the flames were applied, the friars pressed 


Myths and Legends 

about him and earnestly advised him to become a 
Christian, that he might not be required to roast in 
hell, which would be worse than the torture he was 
about to endure, and which would last forever. If 
only he would be baptized he could go direct to 
heaven. " The white man's heaven ?'* he asked. 
** Yes." ** Are there any Spaniards in that heaven ?" 
" Oh, yes, many." "Then light the fire." 

Columbus was the more convinced that he had 
reached Asia because the name of one Cuban prov- 
ince, Mangon, he assumed to be Mangi, a rich dis- 
trict of China. That its people had tails, like mon- 
keys, was nothing against this theory ; that foot- 
prints of alligators should be the tracks of griffins, 
which had the bodies of lions and the wings and 
heads of eagles, was quite in order ; but most con- 
vincing of all was the discovery by an archer, who 
had entered a wood in search of game, of thirty men 
with pale faces, armed with clubs and lances, and 
habited in white gowns, like friars. The man fled 
in fear. When his comrades returned with him to 
find this white company, not a human being ap- 
peared to them, and, except for the chatter of birds 
and the clicking of land-crabs as they scuttled over 
the stones, the place was still. The coast Indians 
were understood to say that among the mountains 
dwelt a chief whom they called a saint, who wore a 
flowing robe of white and never spoke aloud, order- 
ing his subjects by signs. This was surely Prester 
John, the shadowy king of a shadowy kingdom, of 


In the Caribbean 

whom much was said and written a few centuries 
ago. He was declared by one author to rule a part 
of India and was reputed to be a Nestorian priest 
who had made himself king of the Naymans. Other 
travellers placed him in China, Persia, and Tim- 
buctoo. In a battle with the infidel Tartars Prester 
John mounted a number of bronze men on horse- 
back, each figure belching clouds of smoke from a 
fire of punk within, and lashed the horses against 
the enemy, filling them with such terror, and so 
veiling in smoke the dash of his flesh and blood 
cavalry, that his victory was easy. So, it was a 
great satisfaction to Columbus to think that he had 
reached the confines of a Christian kingdom. 

While working through the thousand little islands 
off the southern coast of Cuba, that he called the 
Oueen's Gardens, Columbus found added reason for 
believing that this was the Asiatic shore, and he 
hoped shortly to reach Cipango, or Japan, where 
pearls and precious stones abounded, and where the 
king abode in a palace covered with plates of gold 
more than an inch thick. The attempts of the 
Mongols to overrun the Asian islands were defeated, 
because the Cipangalese were invulnerable, having 
placed between the skin and the flesh of their right 
arms a little stone that made them safe against 
swords, arrows, clubs, and slings. The people of 
Cuba fell too easy a prey to Spanish blades — of 
both sorts — to allow a belief like this to last long. 

That Columbus thought he was approaching the 


Myths and Legends 

earthly paradise, the mountain-guarded Eden where 
our first parents lived, when he neared these lovely- 
shores, inhaled the fragrance of fruits and flowers, 
heard the cries of birds and saw the flash of bright 
waters, is probable. That paradise he sought. The 
serpent of oppression and wrong has left it, and as 
America comes into her own, that paradise shall be. 


HAD it not been for the Caribs the Antilleans 
would have led a placid existence. Those 
warlike and predacious Indians would not keep the 
peace, nor would they allow other people to do so. 
Though they had their capital in Guadaloupe, they 
extended their military enterprises in every direc- 
tion, and Cuba, Porto Rico, Hayti, Jamaica, and the 
lesser islands suffered from their assaults. They 
were trained to fight from childhood, and attained to 
great proficiency in arms. Being active voyagers, 
they had some knowledge of astronomy. When 
operating in the waters of a hostile country it was 
their custom to mask their boats with palm leaves, 
for in this guise they stole upon the enemy the 
easier. Like the red men of our plains, they 
painted their faces, and, indeed, they retained many 
of the practices common to our tribes. In their 
traditions they came from the North, like other 
strong races, their old home being among the Alle- 
ghanies, and they conquered their way from Florida 


In the Caribbean 

to Brazil. Their tribe, they say, grew up from 
stones that their remote ancestors had sowed in the 
soil. They buried their dead in a sitting posture 
that they might be ready to leap up when the spirit 
came for them, and they faced the sunrise that they 
might see the day of resurrection the quicker. 

In their mythology the first men came down 
from heaven on clouds to purify the world and 
make it as clean as the moon ; but, while they were 
looking about at this untidy planet, the clouds 
floated back and they were left in a sorry plight, 
for they had brought no provisions with them. 
Their hunger having sharpened so as to become un- 
bearable, they scraped up clay and baked it to make 
it less tough and more eatable, and were grieved 
when it came out of the fire as hard as stone. Then 
the birds and beasts had pity on them, and led them 
to the groves and fields where they could find fruit, 
nuts, maize, and yams. One tree was of such size 
that they chopped it with stone axes for ten months 
before it fell, and they ate all of it. Beneath its 
roots, in a cave, lived the Water Mother, who, pos- 
sibly because she was angered by the destruction of 
the tree, released a flood that would have covered 
the earth ha'd not a rock fallen into the throat of the 
cavern and stopped the flow. This rock had life and 
speech. It warned the new race that when its 
founders should grow old they were to expect a 
deluge. Until that appeared they should find in the 
stone their best adviser and protector, and if they 


Myths and Legends 

would pray to it, giving a deaf ear to the wood- 
devils, it would cure them of illness, gray hair, and 
age. After a time came the monkey out of the 
woods, beguiling and wheedling, while at every 
chance, with a monkey's love of mischief, he worked 
at the stone, trying to dislodge it from the mouth of 
the cave. At last he succeeded, and out poured the 
flood. An old woman ran to a palm that touched 
the sky with its vast leaves, and climbed with fever- 
ish haste, but fright and fatigue brought her to a stop 
when half-way up, and she hardened to stone, thus 
blocking the way to all behind her, who, when they 
touched her, became stone likewise. Some scram- 
bled down, splashed through the rising waters, and 
reached another palm tree, which they climbed to 
its top, and so saved their lives. 

As the waters were subsiding, Amalwaka came 
sailing across the ocean from the east, ascended the 
Orinoco, carved the figures found near the head of 
that river, without leaving his canoe, smoothed the 
rugged hills and invented the tides, so that men 
might go from place to place on the current, but, 
being unable to make the Orinoco flow up stream, 
he sailed away again into the arch of the rising sun, 
guided at night by the constant star and by the 
tapir and Serikoai, — which is another story, told 
by the Arawaks, to this efFeet : The bride of Seri- 
koai was seduced by the tapir god, who had first 
aroused her curiosity and interest by his attentions, 
and had finally won her love by promising to put 


In the Caribbean 

off his swinish shape and reveal himself as a finer 
being than her husband. If only she would follow 
him to the edge of the earth, where the sky comes 
down, she would see that he was a god. The poor 
husband was crippled by the wife, that he might 
not follow, for she chopped off his leg as he de- 
scended an avocado pear-tree, in which he had been 
gathering fruit for her. He nearly bled to death, 
but a wandering spirit revived him and called his 
mother, who healed the wound with gums and 
helped to make a wooden leg, on which he stumped 
over the earth in search of his runaway wife. It is 
known that the aborigines performed trepanning 
with skill, but this is probably the earliest appearance 
in an American legend of a wooden leg. Though he 
found no foot-prints, it was easy to trace the couple, 
because avocados were springing up from seeds that 
the woman spat out as she journeyed on. At the 
edge of the earth he caught the tapir and killed 
him ; yet the creature's shadow arose from the body 
and kept on its flight with the wife. Straightforth 
she leaped into the blue vast, and there she hangs, 
only we call her the Pleiades. The brute is the 
Hyades. He glares and winks with his red eye : 
Aldebaran. The husband is Orion, who follows 
the others through the sky. 

The Caribs were a handsome people, and one 
tradition narrates the madness that afflicted a gov- 
ernor of Antigua, because of his jealousy of a na- 
tive chief. In 1640 this dusky Paris stole the 


Myths and Legends 

English woman and her child, and carried them to 
Dominica. The governor pursued. Arrived where 
Roseau now stands, he learned that a captive woman 
and her child had been landed there, and had been 
taken to some stronghold in the forest. Drops of 
blood, pricked out by cactus thorns on the march, 
formed a trail which he was able to follow, and 
believing that they betokened murder, he killed all 
the Caribs he encountered. His wife and boy were 
safe, however, except for their bleeding feet, and he 
found them in the otherwise deserted cabin of the 
chief and took them back to Antigua. The affair 
preyed on his mind. He began to doubt his wife, 
thinking she had accompanied the savage willingly, 
and his jealousy so increased that his friends had to 
secrete her, to save her from his wrath. He proba- 
bly recovered his senses in time. 

The Spaniards chased the Caribs out of several 
of the islands. That of Grenada terminates on the 
north in a tall cliff called Le Morne des Sauteurs, 
over which the white men compelled the flying 
Indians to leap to their death. Not one Carib was 
left alive on this island. 


THE brutalities of the Spaniards who first occu- 
pied the West Indies would seem incredible 
if so many of them had not continued to our own 
day. It is estimated that half of the natives of 


In the Caribbean 

Porto Rico were killed, and within sixty or seventy 
years after the seizure of Cuba its populace of 
three hundred thousand had been destroyed or re- 
moved by war, murder, slavery, hunting with blood- 
hounds, imported vices and diseases, flight and forced 
emigration. These natives are said to have been a 
peaceful and happy race, practised in the simpler 
arts, observing the moralities better than their op- 
pressors, holding a faith in one god — a god of good- 
ness, not of hate — and in the immortality of the 
soul, and abstaining from useless forms and ceremo- 
nies. They held that when the soul had left the 
body it went into the woods and hills or abode in 
caves, and took its food and drink as in the flesh. 
When a man calls out in a solitary place among the 
mountains and an answering voice comes back, it is 
not an echo, but a wandering soul that speaks. 

Even the relics of these folk — the Cubans or Sib- 
oneyes — have vanished, save in the instance of the 
temple remains near Cobre, and an occasional caney 
or mound of the dead, a truncated cone of earth 
and broken stones. Some fossil skeletons found in 
caves, and of an alleged age of fifty thousand years, 
denote an ancient race of large, strong people. 
There are other skeletons of Siboneyes, Chinese, and 
negroes in the caves, — victims of herding, slavery, 
fever, cruelty, and suicide. There is little doubt 
that of the aboriginal stock not a man remains. 
Yet there are stories of strange people who were 
seen by hunters and explorers among the mountains, 


Myths and Legends 

or who peered out of the jungle at the villagers 
and planters and were gone again, without track or 
sound, — people with swarthy faces, sinewy forms, 
long black hair, decorations of coral shells and 
feathers, and bracelets, armlets, and anklets of gold. 
Almost from the first, the conduct of the Spaniard 
toward his enemies and dependents was such as to 
earn for him a permanent hate ; so, when his cruelty 
had been practised, and the futility of opposing arms 
against his heavy weapons and his coat of steel had 
been proved, it was natural that those who escaped 
him should keep as far from reach as possible, and 
it is idle to suppose that he traversed the seven hun- 
dred and thirty miles of Cuba's length, whipping 
every forest and climbing every mountain, for no 
more than the pleasure of killing. Negro slavery 
was introduced into the New World before its exist- 
ence had been known in Spain for a century, and 
although the black men have usually been tractable, 
the severities of their masters led to many revolts 
and to the organization of bands for retaliation. 
These bands often degenerated, and during this cen- 
tury the Spanish Antilles have been troubled by 
companies of beggars and outlaws, mostly blacks and 
half-breeds, who have robbed and murdered in the 
dark, run off stock from the farms, burned houses 
and shops, and because of their secret and cowardly 
methods have been feared as much as the Spaniards 
were hated. 

The Nafiigos originally formed a secret order of 


In the Caribbean 

negroes, banded for protection against unkind slave- 
owners and overseers, but feeling their power, and 
being swayed by passion and superstition, they con- 
stituted, after a time, a body correspondent to the 
voodoos, or wizards, of our Gulf States. With 
hideous incantations, with mad dances, with obscene 
songs, with the slaughter of animals, with oaths on 
an altar and crucifix, they invoked illness, ruin, and 
death on their enemies. In time they gained acces- 
sions to their fraternity from Spanish residents, — 
thieves, vagrants, deserters from the army, the half- 
witted and wrong-hearted outcasts from the towns, 
— and the fantastic ceremonies of the jungle came 
to mean something more to the purpose of mischief, 
for the newer Nanigos had more skill and courage 
than the slaves, and were familiar with more sins. 
To enter this order it was required of the candidate 
that he steal a cock, kill it, and drink the warm 
blood. A darker tale is that they were required to 
drink human blood. In Havana this part of the 
initiation was performed on the Campo Marti. The 
man's right nostril was pierced, and a skull and cross- 
bones branded on his chest. It was then expected 
of him that within fifteen days he would kill an 
official or a policeman, a white, black, or yellow 
marble, drawn by chance from a globe, deciding 
whether he was to slay a white man, negro, or mu- 
latto. When he had, by this crime, attained to full 
membership, a little shield was given to him which 
he might wear beneath his coat, and which was 


Myths and Legends 

decorated with the device of a skull and bones. For 
every murder he committed a red stitch was put in 
at the edge of the skull. Once a month, in the 
dark of the moon, the Nanigos paraded the streets 
of the towns, their naked forms painted fantastically, 
their faces ghastly with flour, tramping and leaping 
to the thud of drums and clash of cymbals, yelling 
defiance to the military, brandishing knives and 
firing pistols. It was a kind of thing that in an 
American city could have happened for one consec- 
utive time, but no more. In Havana the Spaniards 
were terrorized. The police refused to make ar- 
rests, lest they should fall victims to the outlaws. 
One judge who refused to liberate an assassin was 
slain in his own house by his servant. 

As a partial revenge on the Cubans for wishing 
liberty the Spanish captains-general have at times 
pardoned some hundreds of these rascals and set 
them free to prey on the people ; while, in retalia- 
tion, the insurgents adopted some of the methods of 
the Nanigos and carried on a guerilla warfare that 
neither troops nor trochas could abate. Many are 
these more or less bold spirits of the hills who are 
celebrated in inland stories : aborigines. Frenchmen, 
Creoles, mulattoes, who have gathered bands of reck- 
less fellows about them from time to time and 
raided the Spaniard, flouting him in his strongholds, 
pillaging from his farms, striking him, hip and thigh, 
and making off^ to the woods before he knew how 
or by whom he had been struck. Sometimes even 


In the Caribbean 

the name of the guerilla has been forgotten, but the 
tradition remains of a predecessor of Lopez, Gomez, 
and Garcia, who aided the English before Havana 
in 1762. In that year Lord Albemarle took the 
town with two hundred ships and fourteen thousand 
soldiers, beating a Spanish army of almost double 
that size, though it was covered by heavy walls and 
well provided with artillery. It took two months 
to reduce the city. 

During one of the land operations the red-coats 
lost themselves in a dense wood, and were in con- 
siderable peril from bodies of Spaniards who were 
almost within speaking distance. To advance or to 
retreat was an equal risk. As the column was 
halted, pending a debate and a reconnoissance, there 
was a rustle in a clump of bushes beside which the 
colonel was standing ; then, as every sword was 
drawn and a row of muskets held ready, a tall 
man bounded into the space, laid his finger on his 
lip to enforce silence, and, beckoning all to follow, 
crept on stealthily through the chaparral. He was 
a man advanced in years, a long white beard flowed 
over his chest, yet he was lithe and quick, and his 
look and manner were those of one who lives in the 
open and in frequent danger. He spoke not a word, 
but after a time drew himself erect and pointed be- 
fore him. He had led the English to the rear of 
one of the Spanish batteries. The colonel, who 
had at first regarded him with doubt, as a lunatic or 
a false guide, ordered his men to attack, and after a 
7 97 

Myths and Legends 

short fight he returned to his lines with prisoners 
and trophies of victory. He sought in all directions 
for the old man, to thank him, but the jungle had 
swallowed him, and he was never seen again. 


CUBA has many shrines containing evidences of 
divine blessing, and some of these are of wide 
renown. When the image of our Lady of Charity 
was found in Nipe Bay it was delivered to the 
priests of Cobre, the centre of the copper-mining 
industry, and they erected a church above it. The 
statue is fifteen inches high, and is seemingly carved 
from gold. A splendid shrine has been made as a 
setting, and for years it has been the object of pil- 
grimages during the Lady's festival in September. 
Those who ask for special favors, such as the cure 
of lameness and blindness, ascend the long flight of 
steps before the statue on their knees. The figure 
was found in 1627 by two Indians and a Creole boy 
who were crossing the bay at dawn in a search for 
salt. It appeared to them as a white body rising 
from the water, but as they approached it revealed 
itself as the image of the Virgin, the holy child on 
her left arm, a golden cross in her right hand. The 
board on which it stood was inscribed, ** I am the 
Virgin of Charity." After it had been shown in 
the fold at Verajagua and venerated by the multitude 
it was placed in a chapel, a number of priests lead- 


In the Caribbean 

ing the march with a pomp and joy of banners, while 
bells and guns signalized its progress. The Virgin 
was dissatisfied, however, with the lack of splendor 
in her shrine and with the site on which the chapel 
had been placed. She told her displeasure to a girl 
named Apolonia, while she burned pale lights on a 
hill above the mines, to mark the place on which 
she wished her church to be erected. Her request 
was heeded so soon as the needed funds could be 
collected. It was generally believed that the statue 
was given by Ojeda to a native chief who, afraid of 
the enmity of his people as a result of accepting a 
gift from a treacherous and hated race, or, more rea- 
sonably, afraid that the Spaniards would kill him for 
the sake of the gold that adorned it, SQt it afloat in 
the bay. A thief despoiled it of thirty thousand 
dollars' worth of jewels after the American occupa- 

This ambulatory practice of sacred images is not 
uncommon, and a similar instance is recorded in 
Costa Rica, where in 1643 the state had been 
thrown into a panic by the devil, who lives in the 
volcano of Turrialba, when he is at home, and who 
generally was at home in those days, for he seized 
upon every wayfarer who ventured on the peak. 
General joy was therefore felt at the discovery of a 
Madonna by a peasant woman at Cartago. She 
carried it to her hut, but it was dissatisfied and 
ran away — twice — three times. The village priest 
then took it and put it under lock and key in his 


Myths and Legends 

house. Again it ran away. It was carried to 
church in procession, and it ran away again. Then 
the priest laid a heavy assessment on his flock for 
silk and gold and emeralds with which to deck the 
image, and this concession having been made to a 
feminine fondness for appearance, the statue has re- 
mained patiently on its pedestal ever since. One 
of the treasures of the Church of Mercy, Havana, 
is a painting of the cross, with a woman seated 
on one arm of it, holding a child. Spanish soldiers 
and proud-looking Indians are gathered about the 
emblem. The origin of the picture is involved in 
doubt, but it was installed in recognition of an ap- 
pearance vouchsafed by the Virgin to Columbus at 
Cerro de la Vega, in presence of the Indians. The 
natives, alarmed at this vision in the air, and associ- 
ating it — ^justly, as it fell out — with calamity, dis- 
charged their arrows at it, and were still more 
frightened when their darts passed through the ap- 
parition without causing a flow of blood. This 
onslaught put the Spaniards into an instant rage, 
and, encouraged by the Virgin's smiles, they fell 
upon the heathen with sword and musketoon and 
stamped them out of existence. 

Some of these supernatural appearances had so 
occult a purpose that it has never been fathomed. 
At Daiquiri, for example, where the American 
troops landed in the late war, a native reported to 
the wondering community that while walking 
through the wood he met a tall, shaggy stranger, 


In the Caribbean 

who looked as though he might have been one of 
the fisherman disciples, and who pointed to the 
earth with an imperious gesture. So soon as the 
Cuban had looked down the tall man melted into 
air. On the ground was the print of the face of 
Christ. A stone was placed on the spot to mark 
the miracle. 

When the fiery Ojeda set out on his several voy- 
ages of discovery and adventure, — and no man ever 
had more excitement and tribulation, — he carried in 
his knapsack a small painting of the Virgin, the 
work of a Fleming of some artistic consequence. 
During his halts in the jungle it was his custom to 
affix this picture to a tree, say his prayers before it, 
receive spiritual assurance of protection, then, grasp- 
ing sword and buckler, to undertake the slaughter 
of the natives with fresh alacrity and cheer. So 
confident was he in his heavenly guard that he ex- 
posed himself recklessly in fight, and the Indians 
were fain to believe him deathless, until one of their 
arrows pierced his leg. If this injured his confi- 
dence it did not stint his courage. He ordered his 
surgeon to burn the leg with hot irons, threatening 
to hang him if he refused, for he fancied that the 
arrow was poisoned. When wrecked on the south 
coast of Cuba with seventy varlets, who had no 
concern for exploration and much for booty, he 
struck out bravely for the east end of the island, 
floundering through marshes and breaking his way 
through tangles of vegetation, the company living 


Myths and Legends 

for several days on a few pounds of raw roots, 
moldy cassava, and cheese, and at last breaking down 
in despair. In thirty days they had crossed ninety 
miles of morass, and were too feeble to go farther. 
Ojeda set up his picture for the last time and be- 
sought the thirty-five cut-throats who survived to 
pray to it also, assuring the Virgin that if she would 
only guide them through their peril this time he 
would make a chapel for her in the first village he 
might reach. 

In answer to this prayer a path was disclosed that 
led them to dry ground, and they soon arrived at 
the hamlet of Cuebas, where the natives received 
them with every kindness, and went to the marsh to 
rescue such of the party as had been abandoned but 
were still alive. These rascals afterward reached 
Jamaica, where some were hanged for their various 
murders and sea-robberies, while others re-enlisted 
in various freebooting enterprises. Ojeda kept his 
promise. He explained to the chief at Cuebas the 
principal points in the Christian faith, built a little 
oratory in the village, and placed the picture above 
the altar, with orders that the Indians should always 
treat it with reverence. Though they did not com- 
prehend the relation of the painting to the white 
man*s religion, they saw from the demeanor of 
Ojeda and his friends that it was a thing of value and 
might avert hoodos. Therefore it was attired and 
cared for with as much assiduity as if it had been 
consigned to a Spanish cathedral, and although the 

1 02 

In the Caribbean 

Indians had not been Christianized, they decorated 
the oratory, overhung its walls with sacrifices, while 
at stated intervals they sang and danced before it. 
When Father Las Casas tried to get this picture 
away from them, afterward, it was hidden in the 
forest until he had passed on. Ojeda reformed, killed 
several of his associates who had attempted his life, 
turned monk, and was buried under the door-stone 
of his monastery, that the populace might trample 
on his pride. 


TOBACCO suggests Cuba, or Cuba more than 
suggests tobacco. Havana cigars are the 
synonym for excellence, and it was on this island 
that the native American was first seen with a cigar 
in his mouth. It was not much like the cigars of 
our day, for it consisted of loose leaves folded in a 
corn-husk, as a cigarette is wrapped in paper. It 
amazed the Spaniards as much to see these dusky 
citizens eating fire and breathing smoke as it aston- 
ished the Filipinos when the Spaniards, having 
learned the trick, and having landed on their islands, 
proceeded to swallow flauie and titter smoke in the 
same fashion, — a proceeding which convinced the 
people of the Philippines that the strangers were 
gods. The white adventurers never found the pal- 
ace of Cubanacan, whose gates were gold and 
whose robes were stiff with gems, but they found 


Myths and Legends 

the soothing and mischievous plant that was even- 
tually to create more wealth for them than the spoil 
of half a dozen such palaces. The Cuban word for 
this plant was cohiba. The word tobago, which 
we have turned into tobacco, was applied to a cu- 
rious pipe used by the Antilleans, which had a 
double or Y-shaped stem for inserting into the nos- 
trils, the single stem being held over a heap of 
burning leaf. The island of Tobago was so named 
because its explorers thought its outline to resemble 
that of the pipe. 

In one form or another the use of the weed was 
prevalent throughout the Americas. Montezuma 
had his pipe after dinner, and rinsed his mouth with 
perfume. For medicinal purposes snuff was taken 
through a tube of bamboo, and tobacco leaves were 
chewed. The practice of chewing also obtained to 
a slight extent among the natives as a stay against 
hunger, and they are said to have indulged it in 
long and exhaustive marches against an enemy. 
They would chew in battle, because in a fight at 
close range they tried to squirt the juice into the 
eyes of their foemen and blind them. The herb 
was taken internally as a tea for medicinal reasons, 
was used as a plaster, and was valued as a charm. 
Francisco Fernandez took it to Europe ; Drake and 
Raleigh introduced it in England, and though its 
use was regarded as a sin, to be checked not merely 
by royal '* counterblasts" and by edicts like that of 
William the Testy, but by laws prescribing torture, 


In the Caribbean 

exile, whipping, and even death, it was not long in 
reaching the uttermost parts of the earth. 

Men of all races and conditions incline to the 
tradition of the Susquehannas, that the plant was the 
gift of a benevolent spirit. In their account this 
manitou had descended to eat meat, which they had 
offered to her in a time of famine. As she was 
about to go back to the skies she thanked them for 
their kindness, and bade them return to the spot in 
thirteen months. They did so, and found maize 
growing where her right hand had rested, beans at 
her left, and tobacco where she had been seated. 

The Indians of Guiana say that tobacco was given 
by a sea-goddess to a man who was begging the gods 
to do something for him, — he didn't know exactly 
what ; he would merely like to have somebody do 
something for him on general principles. As a 
divine gift, therefore, it was used in certain of the 
rites of the Indians, and the man who wished to go 
into a trance and see visions would starve for a 
couple of days, then drink tobacco water. He 
generally saw the visions, — if he lived. In some 
islands the priests inhaled the smoke of a burning 
powder and thereupon fell into a stupor or a frenzy 
in which they talked with the dead. Was this the 
smoke of tobacco, plus a little abandon, a little 
falsehood, a little enthusiasm ? Its enemies in King 
James's time would have said that the smokers de- 
served not merely to talk with the dead, but to join 


Myths and Legends 


FOLLOWING the return of the vanquished 
army of Spain to its home country was an- 
other solemn voyage, undertaken for the transfer 
of the bones of Christopher Columbus from the 
world he had discovered to the land that grudgingly, 
cautiously permitted him to discover it. Spain 
claimed all the benefits that arose from his knowl- 
edge, his bravery, his skill, his energy, and his 
enthusiasm, and rewarded his years of service with 
dismissal from office and confinement in chains as a 
prisoner, but now it repented, and wished to house 
his unwitting relics in state. Once before these 
bones had crossed the sea. After the death of the 
great navigator, in Valladolid, Spain, in 1506, his 
body remained in that city for seven years. Then 
it was taken to Seville and placed in Las Cuevas 
monastery with that of his son, Diego. In 1536 
both bodies were exhumed and sent to Santo Do- 
mingo, or Hispaniola, an island that Columbus 
appeared to hold in a warmer liking than either of 
the equally picturesque, fertile, and friendly islands 
of Cuba, Porto Rico, or Jamaica. In the quaint 
old cathedral of Santo Domingo, built in 15 14, the 
bodies of the great admiral, his son, and also his 
grandson, Louis, first Duke of Veragua, rested for 
more than a century without disturbance. 

On the appearance of the English fleet, however, 
in 1655, the archbishop was so fearful of a raid on 


In the Caribbean 

the church and the theft of the bodies that he or- 
dered them to be hidden in the earth. During the 
years in which they remained so covered the exact 
burial-place of the admiral may have been forgotten, 
or, it may be, as several people allege, that the San 
Dominicans tricked the Spaniards when, in 1795, 
the latter gave their island to France and carried 
with them to Havana the supposed skeleton of 
Columbus. Bones of somebody they certainly did 
take, but it is no uncommon belief in the Antilles 
that the monks of Santo Domingo had hidden the 
precious ones and sent to the monks of Havana the 
bones of the son, Diego, albeit a monument was 
erected to the memory and virtues of the great 
Columbus in Havana cathedral. 

In 1878 the old church in Santo Domingo was 
undergoing repair when the workmen came upon a 
leaden box containing the undoubted remains of the 
first Duke of Veragua. Breaking through the wall 
of the vault they found themselves in a larger one, 
and here was a box two feet long, enclosing a skull, 
bones, dust, jewelry, and a silver plate bearing the 
words " C. Colon,'* and on the end of the box, 
according to some witnesses, the letters ** C. C. 
A.," meaning Christopher Columbus, Admiral (the 
English initials being the same as for the name and 
title in Spanish). A more circumstantial account 
places the time of this rediscovery in 1867, and 
says that a musket-ball was the only object found in 
the little coffin, while the silver plate on the lid was 


Myths and Legends 

thus inscribed, " Una pt. de los restos del Primar 
Aim. to Du Christobal Colon." The Santo Domini- 
cans claim their right to the relics on the ground 
that in his life the Spanish misused the discoverer, 
though his grief was not deep enough to justify the 
ancient rumor of his electing to be buried with the 
chains in which he was carried back to Spain. Mean- 
time Seville is to build a monument, and Santo Do- 
mingo is putting up another, each city claiming to 
have his only real skeleton. 


FROM the earliest days of Spanish occupancy 
the Antilles have been the haunt of strange 
creatures. Mermen have sung in their waters, 
witches and wizards have perplexed their villages, 
spirits and fiends have dwelt among their woods. 
Everybody fears the jumbie, or evil spirit that walks 
the night; and the duppy, the rolling calf, the ghost 
of the murdered one ; all pray that they may never 
meet the diablesse, the beautiful negress with glit- 
tering eyes, who passes silently through fields where 
people are at work, and smiling on any one of them 
compels him to follow her, — where ? He never 
returns. Anansi (grotesquely disguised sometimes 
as Aunt Nancy) is a hairy old man with claws, who 
outwits the lesser creatures, as Br'er Rabbit does. 
To him and his familiars are attributed all manner 

1 08 

In the Caribbean 

of queer tales, one of which, from Jamaica, may be 
quoted as an illustration : 

Sarah Winyan, an orphan of ten, lived with her 
aunt, while her two brothers kept house by them- 
selves a mile or two away. This aunt was an 
Obeah witch, the duppy, or devil ghost, that was 
her familiar, appearing as a great black dog that she 
called Tiger. Sarah stood between this old woman 
and a little property, and after finding that the child 
endured her abuse with more or less equanimity and 
was not likely to die, she told her that she was too 
poor to support her any longer, and she must go. 
Sarah sat on a stone before the house, wondering 
how she could make a living, and all the time sang 
mournfully. A racket as of some heavy creature 
plunging about in the bushes aroused her with a 
start and she scrambled into a tree. It was Tiger who 
had been making the disturbance. He told her to 
descend at once. If she would go with him peace- 
fully, and would be his servant, all would be well, 
but if she refused he would gnaw the tree down and 
tear her into a thousand pieces. He showed his 
double row of teeth, like daggers, whereupon Sarah 
immediately descended. As she walked beside him 
to his lair she sang low, in the hope of being heard 
and rescued. It was well that she did so, for her 
brothers, who were hunting in the wood, recognized 
her voice and softly followed. Peering in at the 
cave where Tiger made his home, they saw him 
sleeping soundly with his head in Sarah's lap. Cau- 


Myths and Legends 

tiously, slowly, she drew away, leaving a block of 
wood for his head to rest upon, and crept out of the 
cavern. Then the boys entered, and with their 
guns blew the head of the beast into bits, cut his 
body into four parts, buried them at the north, 
south, east and west edges of the wood ; then killed 
the wicked aunt. And since that day dogs have 
been subject to men. 

The evil eye is not uncommon in the Antilles. It 
blights the lives of children, and it is one of the worst 
of fates to be ** overlooked" by an Obeah man pos- 
sessing it. Higes, or witches, too, are seen, who 
take off their skins, and in that state of extra-nudity 
go about looking for children, whose blood they 
suck, like vampires. Lockjaw is caused by this loss 
of blood. There is a three-footed horse, also, that 
gallops about the country roads when it has come 
freshly out of hell and is looking for victims it can 
eat. If it halts before a house, that stop means 
death to somebody within, and the peculiar sound 
made by its three hoofs tells what has passed. It is 
not well to look, because the creature has an eye in 
the centre of its forehead that flashes fire. One 
who meets it is so fascinated by this blazing eye 
that he cannot look away. He stares and stares ; 
presently paralysis creeps over him, and in a little 
while he falls dead. Sometimes a creature is seen 
riding on this horse, — a man with a blue face, like 
that of a corpse, and with that face turned toward 
the tail. Related, in tradition, to the horse was the 


In the Caribbean 

king-snake of Carib myth, a frightful creature that 
wore a brilliant stone in its head, which it usually 
concealed with a lid, like that of the eye, but which 
it would uncover when it went to a river to drink, 
or played about the hills. Whoever looked on this 
dazzling stone would lose his sight on the instant. 

The Obeah man has an hereditary power that 
comes to him in advanced age, and that, when at its 
strongest, enables him to send an evil spirit into any 
object he pleases. Not only do the people believe 
in him, but he has the fullest faith in himself. 
When he boils a witch broth of scorpions' blood, 
toads* heads, snake bellies, spider poison, and certain 
herbs picked by moonlight (an actual mixture used 
by Obeah witches), — boils it over a fire of dead 
men's bones, between midnight and dawn, — he has 
no more doubt of its power to harm than the physi- 
cian doubts the power of his quinine and antipyrin 
for good. 

A Cuban planter who suspected one of his older 
slaves of being an Obeah man determined to punish 
him if he were found guilty, and to suppress the 
diabolism attending the midnight meetings. Watch- 
ing his chance, he followed his slaves into the wood, 
peeped through the crevices of the deserted hut 
which they had entered to perform their fantastic 
rites, saw their mad dance, when, stripped and dec- 
orated with beads, shells, and feathers, they leaped 
about with torches in their hands ; then saw his sus- 
pected slave enter through a back door, his black 


Myths and Legends 

skin painted to represent a skeleton. The old man 
held up a fat toad, which, he said, was his familiar, 
and the company began to worship it with grotesque 
and obscene ceremonies. Though he felt a thrill 
of disgust and even a dim sense of fear at the spec- 
tacle, the planter broke in at the door and con- 
fronted the Obeah man. Had he ordered the old 
fellow to do any given task about his house or 
grounds in the daytime, that order would have been 
obeyed. What was the planter's astonishment, 
therefore, when the slave calmly disregarded his 
command to return to quarters, and bade his master 
leave the place at once and cease to disturb the 
meeting, or prepare for a great misfortune. En- 
raged, and fearing lest this defiance might encourage 
the other slaves to mutiny, the master shot the old 
man dead. A few days later the planter's wife died 
while seated at the table. A week after his daughter 
died, a seeming victim of poison. All the latent 
superstition in his nature having been aroused, he 
sought out another Obeah man, to beg that he would 
intercede with the powers of darkness, but the 
wizard was stern. He told him that the slave he 
had killed was the most powerful master of spirits 
in the country, and that nothing could stay the re- 
venges of fate. When the planter reached his home 
he found a letter there announcing the death of his 
only son in Paris. 


In the Caribbean 


ON a hillock near Matanzas, with a ragged 
wood behind it, stood for many years an 
unkempt cottage. In our land we should hardly 
dignify it by such a name. We would call it, 
rather, a hovel. Some rotting timbers of it may 
still be left, for the black people who live there- 
about keep away, especially at night, believing that 
the hillock is a resort of spirits. Yet not many of 
them remember the incident that put this unpleas- 
ant fame upon it, for-that was back in the slavery 
days. The brutal O'Donnell was governor-general 
then. He found Cuba in its usual state of sullen 
tranquillity, and no chance seemed to offer by which 
he could make a name for himself, so he magnified 
every village wrangle into an insurrection. It looked 
well in his reports when he set forth the skill and 
ease with which he had suppressed the uprisings, 
and, as he did not scruple to take life in punishment 
for slight offences, nor to retaliate on a community 
for the misconduct of a single member of it, he al- 
most created the revolution that he described to his 
home government. The merest murmur, the mer- 
est shadow was enough to take him to the scene of 
an alleged outbreak, and he would cause slaves to be 
whipped until they were ready to confess anything. 
A black boy in Matanzas, arrested on suspicion 
of inciting to rebellion, was condemned to seven 
hundred blows with the lash. At the end of the 

8 113 

Myths and Legends 

flogging, being still alive, he was shot, at 0'Donnell*s 
order. He would confess nothing, because he had 
nothing to confess. This boy had been brought up 
in a well-to-do Spanish family, and was the play- 
mate, the friend, of the son of that family, rather 
than his slave. The white boy begged for the life 
of his associate, the family implored mercy, and 
asked for at least a trial, but the governor- general 
would not listen to them, and after the shooting the 
white boy became insane with shock and grief. 
Thus much of the legend is declared to be fact. 

It was the mother of the black boy who lived in 
this cabin outside of the town. She had also been 
a slave until the Spanish family, giving up its planta- 
tion, moved into the city, sold the younger and 
stronger of their human properties, and set free the 
elderly and rheumatic, taking with them only a 
couple of servants and the boy, who went with his 
mother's consent, for she knew he would be cared 
for, and she could see him often, the relation be- 
tween slave and owner being more commonly affec- 
tionate than otherwise. At its best, slavery is 
morally benumbing to the enslaved, destructive of 
the finer feelings, and when the old woman learned 
of her son's death, — and such a death of torture, — 
she did not go mad, as his playfellow had done. 
She lamented loudly, she said many prayers, she 
accepted condolences with seeming gratitude, but 
the tears had ceased to flow ere many weeks, and 
she was seen to smile when her old mistress, whose 


In the Caribbean 

affliction was indeed the heavier, had called on her 
in her cabin, no doubt feeling as much in need of 
her servant's sympathy as the servant felt of the 
creature comforts she took to her. 

Yet deep in Maumee Nina's nature a change had 
taken place. She did not know it herself for many 
months. Her loss had not affected her conduct or 
appearance greatly, yet her heart had hardened under 
it and she began to look upon the world with a dif- 
ferent eye. She cared less for her friends, and went 
to church less often, — a suspicious circumstance, for 
when a negro failed to go to mass, and kept away 
from confession, it was surely because he had some- 
thing mischievous to confess. The rumor got about 
that Maumee Nina had become an Obeah woman, — 
a voodoo worker, a witch. It is not unlikely that 
the accusation inspired her to live down to it. Not 
only were witches held in respect and fear, but she 
might be able, through evil arts, to plague the race 
that had worked her husband to death in the mines, 
and now had killed her only son. She kept still 
more at home, brooding, planning, yielding farther 
and farther to the evil suggestions that her repute as 
a voodoo priestess offered to her, yet keeping one 
place in her heart even warmer than before, — the 
place filled by her daughter, Juanita. 

This girl of fifteen or sixteen was not black, like 
her mother. She was a handsome mulatto. In a 
country where relations are so easily established 
without marriage, and where marriage is so difficult 


Myths and Legends 

and has so little force, the fatherhood of many chil- 
dren is in doubt. If Juanita knew her father's 
name she was not known to him. It mattered little. 
The old woman intended to bring her up as a lady, — • 
that is, to qualify her for a place as waiting-maid in 
the house of some good family ; so she made many 
sacrifices on her account, clothing her vividly, re- 
quiring less work of her than she should have done, 
and even, it was said, paying money to have reading 
taught to her, and that was an accomplishment, in- 

Considering the pains and self-denials that the 
rearing of this child incurred, it was a trifle in- 
consistent that Maumee Nina should have opposed 
the friendly advances of gallants from the town. 
She was not of a class that is wont to consider the 
etiquette of such attentions, nor would she have 
refused to give her daughter in marriage to any 
Cuban. It was that her feeling toward the Span- 
iards was deepening into hate, and it rejoiced her to 
learn that a revolution was really intended. By her 
native shrewdness she was able to do something for 
her people's cause. Whenever a young negro went 
to her to have his fortune told, — and from this art 
she began to realize a steady income, — she managed 
to hint at his future greatness as a military leader, 
his gains in the loot of Spanish camps, his prowess 
in bush-fighting when hostilities should really have 

In this way she really incited a number of the 

In the Caribbean 

ambitious, the quarrelsome, and the greedy to enlist 
in the schemes for Cuba's liberation. Nanigo meet- 
ings were held in and near her house ; there were 
wild dances and uncanny ceremonies, sacrificing of 
animals in the moonlight, baptisms of blood, weird 
chants and responses, and crime increased in the 
town. All this being reported to the military the 
guard lines were extended and a squadron was posted 
at a house not over a mile from Maumee Nina's, 
with Lieutenant Fernandez in command. Fernan- 
dez was a dashing fellow, with swarthy counte- 
nance, moustachios that bristled upward, close- 
trimmed hair and beard, a laughing, pleasure-loving 
eye, and he wore a trig uniform that set off his 
compact shape to advantage. Old Nina heard, 
though it was not true, probably, that he had car- 
ried out the order of O'Donnell for the shooting 
of her boy. Naturally he was the last man she 
could wish to see, and she made no secret of her dis- 
like when, on returning to her home from a visit to 
Matanzas, she found this young officer seated on a 
chair before her door, twirling his moustache and 
gayly chatting with her daughter. She instantly 
ordered the girl to go indoors, and bade the lieu- 
tenant pack off about his business. Being an easy- 
going fellow, with no dislike for the people among 
whom the fortunes of his calling had cast him, and 
with a strong fondness for pretty maids, the young 
man deprecated the anger of the woman, but finding, 
after some persiflage, that it was of small use to try 


Myths and Legends 

to make friends with her, he marched away toward 
his quarters, trolling a lively air and drumming with 
his fingers on his sword-hilt. On the next evening 
he was at Maumee Nina's again, and before the 
very nose of that indignant dame chaffed her daugh- 
ter, whom he also chucked under the chin ; and he 
gazed long and searchingly at a couple of low- 
browed, shifty-looking blacks who were talking with 
the old woman when he entered. 

** Who are these fellows ?" he demanded. 

** What right have you, senor lieutenant, to ques- 
tion me about my guests, in my own house ?" re- 
plied Nina. '* It is enough that they were invited, 
and you were not." 

The lieutenant glanced sharply at Juanita. She 
looked at the shabby fellows for an instant, smiled 
contemptuously, and gave her head a saucy fling. 
The officer's good-nature was restored in a moment. 
" Give me a calabash of water from that spring of 
yours, your grace, and I'll take myself off," said he. 
** But, mind, there are to be no more dances here, — 
no more voodoo practice." 

Old Nina left the room grumbling to herself, 
while Fernandez talked with Juanita, quite disre- 
garding the sour and silent pair of black men. As 
he glanced through a crack in the timbers of the 
house he saw the old woman raise a gourd of water, 
wave her hand above it three times, mutter, and 
shake her head. Then she drew from her pocket a 
tiny object and dropped it in the water, stirring it 


In the Caribbean 

around and around, as if to dissolve it. There was 
a quiet smile on the lieutenant's face as he received 
the calabash from the old w^oman's hand. 

*' In the old days, senora," he said, " it was the 
way to sweeten the drink of a cavalier by getting 
the fairest lady of the house to sip from it before 
he drank. Senora Juanita, you will take a little from 
this shell, and I will then drink to your eyes." 

Juanita had taken the calabash and had lifted it to 
her mouth, when Nina sprang forward and struck it 
to the floor. The lieutenant looked steadily into 
the face of the old woman. Her eyes, at first ex- 
pressing fear, then anger, dropped under his gaze. 
** I thought so," he said, calmly, and left the house 
without a backward look or another word. 

Late that night a subaltern, who had called on 
Fernandez to carry a report to headquarters, set off 
alone in the direction of the city. When half a 
mile on his way a man suddenly confronted him and 
asked him for a light. He promptly offered his 
cigar. Puffing fiercely the stranger created a glow, 
and in the shadow behind it he eagerly scanned the 
face of the soldier. He then returned the stump, 
saying, " Pass on, sir. You are not he I seek. 
Your cigar has saved your life." There was a click, 
as of a knife thrust into its sheath, and the stranger 
was gone. 

Fernandez heard of this and drew an inference, 
but it did not deter him from another visit to the 
Obeah woman's house next evening. The old 


Myths and Legends 

woman was away. Juanita was there alone. Truly, 
the girl was fair, her eye was merry, she had white 
teeth and a tempting lip ; moreover, she appeared 
by no means indifferent to the young officer. In ten 
minutes they were talking pleasantly, confidently, 
and Fernandez held the maiden's hand. 

The hours went by without any one there to take 
account of them. It was a fair and quiet night, except 
for the queer and persistent call of some insects that 
seemed always to be drawing nearer to the house. 
Faint now came the sound of the clock in Matanzas 
striking twelve. As if it were a signal to the dead, 
shadows appeared about the house of the Obeah 
woman, creeping, nodding, motioning, moving to- 
ward the door. One stood close beside it and struck 
it twice, loudly, with a metal implement that rang 
sharply ; then it waited. Steps were heard inside, — 
the steps of a man in military boots : Fernandez. 
There was a swish of steel, too, like a sword 
whipped out of its scabbard, but almost at the in- 
stant when this was heard the door was opened. A 
blow, a faint cry, a fall, a hurry of steps in the 
grass ; then a light. Fernandez held it. A long, 
agonized scream quavered through the darkness, and 
Maumee Nina, with blood on her hands, fell prone 
on the body of her daughter, her Juanita, lying 
there on the earth with a knife in her heart. 

1 20 

In the Caribbean 


AMONG the Spanish governors of Cuba, some 
of whom managed by strict economy to 
save a million dollars out of a salary of forty thou- 
sand dollars, — men of Weyler's stamp, — it is pleas- 
ant to know of one or two who really had the good 
of the island at heart. Such was the honest Blanco, 
and such was Tacon, to whom Havana owes much 
of its beauty and architectural character. He did 
what he could to abolish brigandage, which under 
preceding administrations had become common. He 
organized a force of night watchmen; he dealt with 
offenders according to their deserts, and if at times 
he was too severe it was because he believed that a 
lesson in the impartiality of justice was needed by 
certain favored classes. He had a Latin's love of 
the sensational and spectacular, though in conduct, 
rather than in appearance, and in these days some 
of his acts would be set down to a love of self- 
advertising. As they had their effect, those who 
profited by increased safety could afford to be in- 
curious of reasons. He startled the populace on 
the very day he landed. Cuba had been overrun 
with bandits, some masquerading as insurgents, while 
others prowled through the towns cutting throats in 
the shadow of the church. Cries of ** Stop thief!" 
and ** Murder !" were common at midday. More 
than one hundred people had been stabbed to death 
before the Chapel of Our Lord of the Good Death. 


Myths and Legends 

Police and soldiery were terrorized, and no man 
cheerfully went through the side streets after dark. 
Startling depravity was instanced. Jose Ibarra, a 
mulatto, had killed seventeen people before he was 
hanged at the age of seventeen. It was supposed 
that Tacon would arrive with a flourish of trumpets 
and would try to impress the public. The Spanish 
army was represented at the landing-place by gen- 
erals and colonels bedizened with bullion and but- 
tons ; there were troops with silken flags and glitter- 
ing sabres and bayonets ; there was a copious exhibit 
of bunting ; society was there in carriages, with 
liveried footmen and outriders ; foreign diplomats 
were in uniform, as if to meet royalty, and the 
clergy had a place of honor. The boat touched the 
pier. A small man in civilian dress walked smartly 
to the land. He had a riding-whip in his hand, — 
symbol of his rule : for this was Tacon, and within a 
month he was to whip crime into its dens and make 
the capital of Cuba safe. His first order carried 
consternation to the advocates of fuss and feathers. 
It was to dismiss the parade, remove the decora- 
tions, send the police to their posts, and declare 
Havana in a state of siege. This was startling, but 
it gratified and assured those who had long begged 
for an honest and watchful government, and had 
continued not to get it. Crime recognized and 
feared this master. ** In a little while," says a 
Cuban, ** you could have gone about the streets at 
any hour of the night with diamonds in your open 


In the Caribbean 

hands and nobody would have touched you, not 
even the Spanish Robert Macaire or Robin Hood, 
who is remembered bitterly in Andalusia, — Diego 
Corrientes." Merchants going to and from the 
bank with money had formerly been compelled to 
hire soldiers as guards, and when they complained 
of violence the magistrates had said, " Go to bed at 
seven, as we do, and you'll have no trouble." 
Thieves bought their liberty from jailers. Tacon 
arrested the jailers in that case. 

It does not take long to erect a reputation when 
it has a basis of desert. An odd modern instance is 
told in the case of an American newspaper reporter, 
John C. Klein, who, after ten years of absence, was 
canonized by the Samoans, among whom he had 
lived for some years, as a hero in battle, a slayer 
of Germans, and a wizard who closed his own 
wounds by magic. The gods approved him, and 
the people in their trouble prayed for the return of 
Talaini o le Meleke (Klein, the American) to rescue 
them. And with Tacon it took hardly longer to 
become a sort of national hero. The qualities he 
showed in reforming, building, extending, and pro- 
tecting Havana were so unusual that the people 
willingly credited others to him he may not have 
possessed. He has become legendary already. 

Tacon, after gathering in two thousand of the 
riff-raff and putting them at work on roads, piers, 
and prisons, applied himself with special energy to 
the suppression of Marti, the most daring, yet the 


Myths and Legends 

slyest and most cautious of all the robbers in the 
country. He and his band thought no more of 
splitting the weasand of a soldier than tossing oiF a 
glass of brandy, and the people were more than 
half his friends, because he joined smuggling to his 
other industries, and was therefore able to provide 
them with many necessities, such as wine and ban- 
danas, at a price much lower than they commanded 
in the shops. Yet the secret agents, the constabu- 
lary, and the troops began to make it perilous for 
these law-breakers, and General Tacon was hopeful 
of their speedy capture. On a certain morning he 
looked up abstractedly from some letters he was 
writing on the case of Marti and was astonished to 
see a burly but well-dressed stranger standing before 
his desk. ** How in the devil did you get in here, 
sir, unannounced ?" he asked, in some irritation. 

" I come on secret business," replied the other, 
in a lower tone. 

" Ha ! About " 

" Exactly. About Marti." 

'* Speak, then. You will not be overheard. What 
do you know ?" 

" First, your Excellency, let us understand the 
situation. There is a large reward for this man, is 
there not ?" 

" There is. Capture him and the money is yours. 
Ah, I see ! You wish to turn state's evidence. So 
much the better. You shall be protected." 

" But suppose I had been associated with the 


In the Caribbean 

worst of these men ? Suppose I had committed 
crimes ? Suppose I had been a leader ?" 

** Even in that case you shall be protected." 

** Give mc your word, as an officer and a gentle- 
man, that, no matter what my offences have been, 
I shall have an official pardon when I put you on 
the track of the outlaws." 

*' You must earn the pardon. If you know the 
haunts of the smugglers we shall expect you to pilot 
us to every one of them." 

** I will do it. I am tired of an evil life, tired of 
hiding, tired of fear, tired of hate. I wish to come 
back and live among men." 

" Well spoken. And Marti ?" 

" I shall be pardoned, absolutely, when I bring 
him here }" 

" Absolutely. When may we expect him ?" 

" Now." 



" What ! To-day > This Marti " 

** You are looking at him." 

Tacon started, and his glance fell on a couple of 
pistols that lay on the desk before him. He always 
kept them there, primed and loaded. Marti smiled, 
drew from beneath his coat two larger ones, hand- 
somely mounted with silver, and placed them on the 
desk. " I am through with them," said he. 

Tacon looked at him almost with admiration. 
" You begin well," he admitted, " and you shall 


Myths and Legends 

have your pardon. But until you have fulfilled your 
promise and helped us to break up these bands of 
smugglers and — ah " 

** Oh, speak out : Thieves ! That is right." 

*' Well, thieves, — we must keep you under guard." 

" I am satisfied ; only, let us get to work as soon 
as possible, and have the business over." 

" We will start to-morrow." 

Marti was placed in a large room in a hotel under 
watch of the constabulary, but free to order any 
comfort or luxury he could pay for. On the very 
next morning he set out with a posse of soldiers and 
visited all the resorts of his former associates in the 
vicinity. The fellows had evidently suspected 
something, for they had made off. Their haunts 
being thus disclosed, however, much of their plun- 
der was afterward recovered, and Marti's surrender 
having left them without a leader, they retreated to 
distant provinces, and safety and peace were restored 
to the island. 

If Marti had any misgivings as to the certainty of 
his pardon after this exploit, he did not show them. 
He returned to General Tacon's office as cool and 
self-possessed as if he were running a boat-load of 
spirits under the noses of the customs officers. 

** You have been true to your part of the agree- 
ment," said the general, ** and I will be to mine. 
Here is your pardon, signed and sealed, and this is 
my order on the treasury for the reward for your 
arrest. Sly dog !" 


In the Caribbean 

** I accept the pardon with gratitude, your Excel- 
lency, but I do not need the money. My country 
is poor. Let her keep it. I am rich. Never mind 
how I became so. Yet, if I may claim a reward, 
give me a monopoly of the fisheries on this coast. 
Havana will not suffer if your generosity takes this 

And it did not. He got the fisheries, but he spent 
his profits freely, and one of the first of his bene- 
factions was the construction of a market that had 
no superior in beauty and fitness elsewhere in the 


WHEN the parades were over, or church was 
out, or it was near time for the play, one 
always found a dozen officers and gallants sauntering 
down the Calle de Comercio, bound for the same 
place : the tobacco shop of Miralda Estalez. In 
1835 Miralda was known all over the town as ** the 
pretty cigar girl," and it was quite the thing for 
young sprigs of family to lounge against her counter, 
tell her how charming she was, make her light their 
cigarettes and sometimes take the first puff^ from their 
cigars. All this she took with jesting good-nature, 
chaffing all of her customers, commiserating with 
them in mocking tones on their fractured hearts, and 
lamenting the poverty that confined their purchases 
to the cheaper brands of her wares. She knew how 
far to allow a compliment to go. If it became too 


Myths and Legends 

free the smile faded from her lip, her black eyes 
flashed, and an angry rose mounted into the clear 
olive of her cheek. 

If there was one young man who, more than any 
other, caused these angry symptoms to appear it was 
the Count Almonte. His attentions had become 
annoying. She had told him that his flattery was 
distasteful ; that her betrothed was Pedro Mantanez, 
the boatman, and that they were waiting to be mar- 
ried only until their savings had reached a certain 
figure. After one of these dismissals of more than 
usual frankness, the count went to his apartments in 
town, arrayed himself in his uniform of honorary 
lieutenant of the guards, asked the commandant to 
let him have an escort of half a dozen men, as he 
expected trouble at his country-place at Cerito, and 
within an hour or two appeared before Miralda's 
little shop. He entered this time with an easy, 
confident air and an evil smile. ** You must come 
with me, my beauty," he said, trying to chuck her 
under the chin. 

** Leave my place at once, senor. I have nothing 
more to say to you." 

" Oh, but I have much to say to you ; and to 
begin with, I have a warrant for your arrest." 


** For theft, — the theft of a heart, — my heart." 

*' Your jokes are always in such wretched taste. 
Your heart ! You never had one." 

" Then my duty becomes all the easier. You see 


In the Caribbean 

this paper? It is an order for your arrest. Will 
yoQ go quietly, or do you prefer to go under guard 
of a whole company." 

Astonished, confused, afraid, yet hoping that one 
of those wretched pleasantries known as practical 
jokes would be the upshot of this seeming out- 
rage, the girl locked her door, allowed the count to 
assist her into the carriage that was in waiting, and 
was rapidly driven, not to the jail, not to the forts, 
not to the police office, but out of town — to Cerito. 
He assisted her to alight, urged her hastily in at the 
door of a handsome residence, where she was re- 
ceived by a couple of servants, and escorted to a 
large, comfortably furnished apartment, with win- 
dows barred after the fashion usual in Spanish 

** This, my pretty one, is your home for the fu- 
ture," explained the count, dropping easily upon a 
divan and lighting a cigar. 

" What place is this ?" 

** It is my house. Ah, but it shall be yours, if 
only you are kind. It is for you to say how long 
you will be a prisoner." 

** But the arrest — the order " 

** Ha ! ha ! Mere sham. I was bound to have 
you in one way, if I could not get you in another. 
All's fair in love and war. You made war. I made 

There was an explosion of v^rath, of scorn, of 
hate ; there were tears, cries, prayers, threats, prom- 
9 129 

Myths and Legends 

ises. Count Almonte merely laughed, and left the 
young woman to weep herself into a state of resig- 
nation or exhaustion. 

Mantanez, the boatman, learned before long that 
the shop was closed, and naturally fearing that 
Miralda had been taken ill, he hurried around to 
make inquiry. What he heard was disquieting 
enough, but he could not, would not believe it, 
until he had gone to Cerito to see for himself. In 
the gown of a monk he gained access to the grounds, 
and walked slowly by, singing the verse of a song 
that Miralda liked, meanwhile scanning the windows 
closely. His heart gave a leap, and then sank mis- 
erably low, for his love appeared behind the bars of 
an upper window. She stretched her hands to him 
appealingly, told him in a i'Qw half-whispered words 
the story of her abduction, implored him to hurry 
back to town, put the case before General Tacon 
and demand justice. 

Mantanez did so. The tale was so unusual that 
the general made him swear to the truth of it on his 
knees before the crucifix. Then he sent for the count 
and ordered him to bring the girl with him. In two 
hours they were at the palace. The general looked 
searchingly at Almonte. " It is a strange charge that 
has been brought against you, count," said he, " that 
of stealing a woman in open day, taking her to your 
house and keeping her under lock and key." 

** The young woman has been well treated, gen- 


In the Caribbean 

" You arrested her ?" 

" Yes." 

" In our uniform ?" 

** It was the only way. I loved her.'* 
* You still love her ?'* 

" To distraction." 

** Humph ! We shall see. Orderly, send a priest 
to me, and tell him to come prepared to perform a 
marriage ceremony." 

Tacon was sphinx-like, and busied himself with 
his papers. The count was puzzled, yet smiling, and 
disposed to be incredulous. The girl and her lover 
wore looks of doubt and fear. The priest arrived. 

" Father," said Tacon, ** you will make the 
Count Almonte and Miralda Estalez man and wife." 

" Impossible !" exclaimed the count. 

** You have just said that you loved her." 

** But, your Excellency, you seem to forget that 
she is but a girl of the people. I have to remind 
you that I am of the Spanish nobility ; that my 
ancestors — " 

** Tush, tush ! What have your ancestors to do 
here ? You have ruined the girl, and you shall make 
amends, here and now." 

Miralda clasped her hands in a passion of en- 
treaty, and her betrothed, the boatman, sank upon a 
bench, overcome with despair. 

** I am sorry for you," continued Tacon, " but 
there is no other way. Proceed with the cere- 


Myths and Legends 

Knowing Tacon to be inflexible, and with a 
wholesome dread of punishment in case of refusal, 
the young rake finally expressed his willingness to 
yield to the command, and with a freckled trooper 
for bridesmaid, and another for groomsman, the 
marriage rites were said. While the priest was 
speaking Tacon had written a note which he gave to 
an orderly, instructing him to deliver it to the cap- 
tain of the guard. After the nobleman, flushed and 
trembling with anger, and the half-fainting girl 
had been pronounced man and wife, the boatman 
meanwhile abandoning himself to a frenzy of tears, 
Tacon said to the count, " Your wife will remain 
here for the present. It is my order that you re- 
turn to your country-house alone. You will depart 
at once." 

With blazing eye, widened nostril, and hard-set 
jaw. Count Almonte left the room without any 
recognition of his bride, without the usual acknowl- 
edgment of the governor-general's presence. Tacon 
bade the young woman be seated, and told Man- 
tanez also to remain, as he wished to speak with 
them after a time. Ten minutes passed. Some guns 
were heard at a distance. In ten minutes more an 
officer hastily entered the room. Tacon looked up 
from his writing. " Report, captain," he com- 

** I have to inform your Excellency that your 
orders have been obeyed. The Count Almonte lies 
dead with nine bullets in his body." 


In the Caribbean 

The general arose, took the hand of the young 
woman and placed it in that of the boatman. 
** Countess," he said, *' you are the widow of a rich 
man. You are sole heir to the estate of the late 
Count Almonte. As to you, sir, I presume you 
have no objection to wedding a lady so well pro- 
vided with this world's goods. Adieu, Madame 
Countess, and may your second marriage be happier 
than your first." 


DID Alonzo Morelos begrudge liberty or hap- 
piness to Felipe Guayos ? Surely the life of 
a Havanese artisan could have mattered little to a 
prosperous lawyer. Politics may have set the big 
man's enmity against the little one, or it may pos- 
sibly have been that more advanced form of politics 
that is called patriotism. It was a good time for a 
man to refrain from airing his opinions, unless they 
were orthodox, for the revolution of 1829 had just 
been declared. If Guayos was a party to this rising 
he was an indifferent and inactive one, or else 
he kept his counsel wondrous well. His acquaint- 
ances testified that he was industrious, — that is, he 
practised what in Havana passed for industry, — was 
fond of his wife, cared little for cock-fighting or 
the bull-ring, was of placid demeanor, and was alto- 
gether the sort of man who could be relied on not 
to attend secret meetings or lose valued sleep by 


Myths and Legends 

drilling in hot barns or chigger-infested clearings in 
the woods. Yet it was on Morelos's oath that this 
obscure citizen was arrested. 

The tongues clacked up and down the by-ways : 
What was the rich man's interest in the poor one ? 
the professional man's in the mechanic ? the man of 
society in the man unknown ? Then it was true, 
eh ? that the mulatto (for Guayos was a " yellow 
man") had spoken to the lawyer familiarly in the 
street in presence of ladies and officers ? Maybe. 
The laundress at the second house down the street 
had said so, but, fie ! it was only on a matter of 
business. Tut ! Business was no excuse, consid- 
ering that Don Alonzo was of Spanish parentage, 
while the other had been nothing but a Cuban for 
two centuries. To forget this breach or try to 
bridge it, to presume on the tolerance of an occa- 
sional employer, unless one were a slave or a servant 
and used to indulgence — that was not to be forgiven, 
A rumor that travelled more quietly was that More- 
los himself was a revolutionary and had caused this 
arrest as a blind, or in order to silence a tongue that 
might speak damage. A third rumor, that went in 
a whisper, and so went farther than the others, said 
that the yellow man had a pretty wife, and that the 
lawyer had been seen to call at the little house in the 
master's absence. This tale seemed to be doubted, for 
the wife of the butcher gave it as her opinion that 
the Senora Guayos was too rusty of complexion to 
be pleasing, and the Senor Morelos was so faultless 


In the Caribbean 

in his appearance and his taste ; the club steward's 
unmarried sister declared the senora's manners to be 
rustic and her voice loud ; the woman in the car- 
penter's family would lend no ear to such a scandal 
because the subject of it was dumpy, shapeless, and 
dressed absurdly, even for the wife of a stonemason. 
Howbeit, the little woman was now in grief, for 
her husband lay in jail awaiting trial on the gravest 
charge that could be brought against a Cuban, — the 
charge of treason. In that day, as on many sad 
days that were to follow, to be charged with disaf- 
fection toward the crown was virtually to be sen- 
tenced to death. 

Cuban law was at least as tardy and involved as 
any, but on the day when they tried Guayos it was 
strangely brisk. The stifling, unclean court-room 
was crowded, but of all the company none seemed 
to feel so little concern in the proceedings as the 
accused man himself. Through an open window he 
saw a couple of palms swinging softly against the 
sky in the warm wind. The trees appeared to pa- 
cify, to fascinate him. They were his realities, and 
the goggling throng, the judge, the officers, were 
visions. Often when his name was spoken by a 
witness or examiner he would look around with 
a start, then fall into his dreams again. His case 
was traversed without waste of words. Evidence 
was adduced to prove that he had once owned a gun, 
had attended a certain meeting, had carried letters 
to such and such persons, had spoken equivocal 


Myths and Legends 

phrases, had been seen to lift his nose in passing 
certain men, had admitted a suspect to his house at 
night. He was declared guilty. The celerity in 
reaching this verdict led his friends to believe that 
it had been agreed upon in advance. 

During the last hour of the trial Guayos had 
aroused from his revery, had turned from the win- 
dow, and had fixed his eyes steadily on Morelos, 
who was seated among the lawyers in the centre of 
the room. Morelos returned the gaze calmly for a 
time ; then he frowned and turned the pages of a 
law-book. After a little he moistened his lips with 
his tongue, took a studied attitude of listlessness, 
and showed signs of weariness and boredom. He 
did not look at the prisoner again until the verdict 
had been given. 

When the chief judge put the usual question as to 
whether the convicted man had anything to say why 
death-sentence should not be passed upon him, 
Guayos arose, his face pale but fixed in a stony 
calm. Looking at neither judge nor audience, but 
straight at his accuser, with eyes that were no longer 
the eyes that had dreamed upon the palms, so great 
and black they were and searching, he said, in a 
clear, tense voice, " I go to my death. It is useless 
to speak, for you have condemned me. But I cite 
you, Don Alonzo Morelos, to appear beside me at 
the bar of God, one year from my death-day, and 
testify how I came to my end." 

There was a moment of silence ; then moans and 


In the Caribbean 

murmurs in the crowd. The lawyer was white, as 
with wrath. The judges gestured to the officers and 
left the bench. The court was cleared. As he was 
led away, Guayos looked once more at the palms, 
and half smiled as a breath of freshened air came in 
at the window. Palms ! Where had he been told 
of them ? What did they mean ? Had they not 
somewhere, in some far land, been waved in victory 
when One innocent was about to suffer ? Were 
not palms awarded in another world to the meek 
and the honest who had been despitefully used in 
this ? 

Last to leave the room was Morelos. He had 
remained, seated at a table, biting a pen, fingering 
some papers, gazing abstractedly at the vacant bench. 
The whoop of a barefooted, black-faced urchin in 
the corridor roused him. With a scowl and a shrug 
he slowly resumed his hat and went to his home by 
a roundabout way. 

Priests called daily at the prison. Guayos made 
no appeal, asked for no delay. The loyalists were 
clamoring for an example that should stay the 
revolution. In a week the condemned man was 
hanged. An odd thing happened at the execu- 
tion : the rope had slipped a little, and the knot, 
working toward the front, had left an impress there 
after the body was cut down, as of two crossed 
fingers. The friends of Guayos held this to be a 
sign of grace. 

Now, if there were any in the world to pray for 

Myths and Legends 

the peace of a human soul, it was not the soul of 
Guayos that asked it. He had affirmed his inno- 
cence to the end, had been shrived, had gone to the 
gallows with a dauntless tread, and there were palm 
branches on his coffin. But the lawyer ? In a 
month after the trial white hairs appeared among 
his locks, hitherto as black as coal. He grew gray 
and dry in his complexion, his shoulders began to 
stoop, his eyes lost their clearness and boldness, his 
mouth was no longer firm. Often he wore a har- 
ried, hunted look. Yet they said he was growing 
softer in his humor, that he oftener went to church, 
that he gave more for charity than other men of his 
means, and that if the widow Guayos did not know 
from whom the five hundred pesetas came that a 
messenger left at her home one night the neighbors 
pretended to. Don Morelos became an object of a 
wider interest than he knew. Even the boys in the 
street would point as he passed, with head bent and 
hands clasped behind his back, and whisper, ** There 
goes El Citado" (the cited), and among the com- 
moners he was known as well by that name as by 
the one his parents had given to him. But he ap- 
peared less and less in public. He began to neglect 
his practice ; he resigned from his club ; he avoided 
the company of his former associates, taking his 
walks at night alone, even though the sky was moon- 
less, storms were threatening, and the cut-throat 
crew were abroad that made life at some hours and 
in some quarters of the city not of a pin's fee in 


In the Caribbean 

value. His housekeeper told a neighbor that on 
some nights he paced the floor till dawn, and that 
now and again he would mutter to himself and ap- 
pear to strike something. Was he smiting his own 
heart ? 

Before long it was rumored, likewise, that the 
grave of Guayos was haunted, or worse, for a black 
figure had been seen, on some of the darkest nights, 
squatted or kneeling before his tomb. It was 
remarkable that this revolutionist should have had a 
burial-place of his own, when all his relatives and a 
majority of the people in his station were interred in 
rented graves, and their bones thrown into the com- 
mon ditch if the rent were not paid at the end of the 
second year. Certain old women affirmed that this 
watching, waiting figure in the dark had horns and 
green eyes, like a cat's, while other people said that 
it was merely the form of a man, taller, thinner, 
more bent than Guayos ; therefore not his ghost. 
But what man ? 

The anniversary of the hanging had come. The 
small hours of the morning were tolling, heavily, 
slowly, over the roofs of the sleeping city. Sleep- 
ing ? There was one who had no rest that night. 
An upper window of the house of Morelos looked 
out upon a court in which two palm trees grew. 
They had been tall and flourishing. One might see 
them from the court-room. But for a year they had 
been shedding their leaflets and turning sere. To- 
night their yellow stems had clashed and whispered 


Myths and Legends 

until the wind was down, leaving the night sullen, 
brooding, thick, starless, with dashes of rain and a 
raw chill on the ground that brought out all the 
malefic odors of the pavement. The window on 
the side toward the court was closed and curtained. 
The one overlooking the street was slightly open, 
and if the night-bird prowling toward the den he 
called his home had looked up, or had listened, he 
would have seen the glimmer of a candle and heard 
the eager scratching of a pen and rustling of papers. 
For an hour in the first half of the night Morelos 
had been walking about his chamber. At about 
three in the morning the housekeeper, whose room 
was at the opposite end of a corridor from her 
master's, found herself sitting upright in bed. She 
did not know why. Nobody had called to her. 
Listening intently, as if she knew that somebody 
was about to speak, she distinguished a faint sound 
of crumpling paper. A chair was moved hastily, 
and there was a cry in a strained voice, ** No, no ! 
My God !" Then the house shook. She bolted 
her door and prayed. In the morning twilight Don 
Alonzo Morelos lay very still on the floor of his 
chamber, with a mark on his throat like that made 
by the pressure of two crossed fingers. 
The citation had been obeyed ! 


In the Caribbean 


MIGUEL JOSE was a loving and dutiful son, 
but he could help the old folks only a little. 
He had a heartache every time a letter came from 
Leon, for he knew it held a request for money, and 
a private's pay, which at best is small, is frequently 
nothing in a Spanish regiment. Young Miguel had 
been on service in Havana for a couple of years, 
and his parents had been growing steadily poorer. 
He could hardly buy cigarettes. First it was a pig 
that was wanted at home ; then a better roof on the 
cottage ; then a contribution for a new altar in the 
village church ; finally it was illness, and his mother 
needed medicines and delicacies. How could he 
get money .^ The paymaster had received none in 
months, he said, and even the officers were in debt. 
His fellow-soldiers ? No ; they were as poorly off 
as he, — so he could not borrow. He could not 
steal in the streets, for his uniform would betray 
him. He was not allowed to accept work from 
civilians, for that was against the army regulations. 
After dress-parade one evening he went to a lonely 
place behind the barracks and cried. Then, having 
leave of absence, he went to one of the churches 
and knelt for a long time before the Virgin's shrine, 
imploring her, with moans and tears, to give him 
some means of relieving his mother's distress. She 
was a mother. She would understand. She would 
pity the sufferings of others. There was no an- 


Myths and Legends 

svver. He left the dark and empty building tired and 

Next evening he returned, and for an hour and 
more he begged the Virgin to bestow some material 
mercy on his mother. Looking up he was startled, 
though delighted, to see that the statue of Mary was 
rolling its glass eyes upon him, and tears stood in 
them. He bent to the floor, overcome by his emo- 
tions. Then a light step sounded over the stones, 
and, behold ! the Virgin had left her pedestal and 
was regarding him with kindness and pity in her 
face. Slowly she extended her hand. He gazed 
with new astonishment, for this was the right hand, 
bearing the famous diamond which had been placed 
upon it some years before by a pious resident of 
Havana. It could not be that she intended this 
treasure for him ! Yes, she smiled and nodded as- 
suringly. With trembling fingers he withdrew the 
jewel, kissed the outreached hand, stammered his 
thanks, and, hardly waiting till she had remounted 
her pedestal, ran from the church. 

There was in the city at that time one Senor Hyman 
Izaaks, whose business — which a cruel law required 
him to follow in secret — was the relief of pecuniary 
embarrassments, on security, and our soldier went 
straightway to the office of that philanthropist, ar- 
riving breathless but happy. Senor Izaaks advanced a 
larger sum on the diamond than Jose had dared to hope 
for. He wrote a hasty letter, enclosing the bank- 
notes, and mailed it to his parents on that very night. 


In the Caribbean 

Next morning the sacristan of the church, who 
was making his rounds and placing fresh candles on 
the altar, received a shock. The Virgin's diamond 
was gone ! The priests, the bishop, the governor, 
the general, the police were notified, and there was 
a mighty coil. What sacrilegious wretch had done 
this thing ? Miguel had been seen to enter the 
church on the previous night ; therefore suspicion 
attached to him. He was arrested and charged with 
the crime. To the astonishment of all, he made no 
secret of it, though he protested against the word 
" theft." He was proud to have been the recipient 
of kindness from heaven, and he related, frankly 
and circumstantially, how he had appealed to the 
Virgin, for what good purpose, how she had an- 
swered, how Senor Izaaks had taken the stone and 
given him money for it. A military court was or- 
dered to try him, but it was puzzled to know what 
to do with him. If the fellow were a common 
thief he deserved more than prison : he merited the 
gallows and a quicklime burial, for he had added 
sacrilege to robbery. But if he were a thief, why 
did he confess so freely, and even glory in his sin ? 
Then, too, if it were the wish of the Virgin that 
he should receive this gift, by what right did any 
civic or military body interfere, for would it not be 
blasphemy to doubt or deny the designs of Provi- 
dence ? Was not the accused soldier under the 
acknowledged protection of the Virgin ? Would 
she not visit with indignation, if she did not vig- 


Myths and Legends 

orously punish, the attempt to set aside her bene- 
fits ? 

Truly, here was a pickle ! The confession of 
the accused man had enabled the police to secure 
the diamond, — which they did without any formali- 
ties of payment to Senor Izaaks, to his unbounded 
grief, — and the ring being restored to the finger of 
the statue, and the money being on its way across 
the sea, and the soldier being entitled to some part 
of it as back- pay, the court-martial at length resolved 
to release Miguel Jose from arrest. It did so with 
the historic finding of " Not guilty, but don't do it 


WHILE it has been the fate of women in the 
Spanish islands to suffer even more than 
their husbands and brothers from severity and injus- 
tice, instances are not lacking in which they have 
shown an equal spirit with the men. In the in- 
surrections a few of them openly took the field, 
and the Maid of Las Tunas is remembered, — a 
Cuban Joan of Arc, who rode at the head of the 
rebel troops, battled as stoutly as the veterans, and 
was of special service as scout and spy. Three 
times she fell into the hands of the Spaniards. 
Twice she coaxed her way to freedom. The third 
time the governor gave her to a crowd of brutal 
soldiers, who afterward burned her alive. 

Quite another sort of woman was Nina Diaz, 

In the Caribbean 

whom Weyler intended to compliment when he 
said she was the only loyal Cuban, and who is 
hated by all other Cubans as a fiend. Her love for 
a Spanish captain was cleverly played upon by 
Weyler, who induced her to become his spy. She 
begged contributions for the insurgents. Of course, 
those who gave were in sympathy with the insur- 
rection, so that all she had to do was to place her 
list of subscribers in the hands of Weyler, who 
promptly shot or imprisoned them, or herded them 
among the reconcentrados to die of starvation. 
When the Cubans caught her she said that she had 
a father and a brother in their ranks, — which was 
true, — and was on her way to them. Where could 
they be found ? They told her and set her free, and 
in the morning the Spanish troops were on the 
march to their hiding-place. 

It is pleasanter to read of Spanish women serving 
their own cause than of Cuban women who be- 
trayed their country, and the Spanish dames have 
often shown as much grit and pride as the dons. 
Pauline Macias is alleged to have led the soldiers 
back to their guns in San Juan de Puerto Rico after 
they had run from Sampson's shells. She seized a 
sword from an officer, beat the runaways with it, 
roused them by pleas and commands, and kept them 
at their work until their pieces were disabled or the 
ammunition had given out. 

In the tradition of an earlier and slighter war the 
heroine is a woman of still different type. Isabella, 
to 145 

Myths and Legends 

wife of the Doctor Diaz, was often called *' the 
queen" in Bayamo, not merely because of her name, 
but because of her piety, her charities, her beauty, 
and her dignified bearing. She was young, well 
reared, distinguished, and her home was a centre for 
the best society of the town. Among those who 
felt free to call without invitation were several of 
the officers of the garrison, most of them models in 
deportment and dress, and of sufficient breeding to 
refrain from allusion to politics ; for the Diazes, 
though Spanish by only one remove, were avowedly 
Cuban in their sympathies, and the revolution was 
fast coming to a focus. It was understood, how- 
ever, that Doctor Diaz would remain a non-combat- 
ant, for the duty he owed to suffering humanity was 
higher than the duty his friends tried to persuade 
him he owed to his country. Hence, the physician 
and his wife would be under the white flag, it was 
supposed, and if remarks were made as to their 
share in the approaching hostilities, it was always 
with a frank and laughing admission on their part 
and a jest on that of the accusers. 

Among all the men in garrison but one was actu- 
ally disliked by the young practitioner and his wife. 
Captain Ramon Gonzales had been quartered upon 
them once for a week in an emergency, and his 
removal to another household had been asked for. 
It was not that he lacked manners or was obviously 
disrespectful, but his compliments to the lady of the 
house were something too frequent, his regard of 


In the Caribbean 

her too admiring, his air toward the doctor that of 
the soldier and superior, rather than the friend. 
Seiiora Diaz never saw him alone, never invited 
him to call. He disappeared one afternoon, and it 
was understood that he had received a summons to 
return to Havana. 

The rising came at last. Fires glimmered on the 
hills, bodies of men assembled in the woods, the 
drumming and brawling of troops were heard in 
hitherto quiet villages, and prayers for the success 
of the Cuban arms were offered in a hundred 
churches. But not all the women were content to 
pray. They were helping to arm their husbands, 
brothers, sweethearts, sons ; they worked together 
in assembling supplies, hospital stores, clothing, and 
even in casting bullets. 

One or two nights after the first blow had been 
struck there came a loud summons at the door of 
Doctor Diaz. Thinking it a call for his services, he 
stepped into the dark street, when he was seized, 
handcuffed, placed between two lines of soldiers, and 
marched away to prison. The despairing cry of his 
wife, as she peered from the open door and saw this 
arrest, was the only farewell. He never heard her 
voice again. He was shot a few days later as an 
enemy to Spain, the specific charge against him 
being that of "aiding and sheltering" a rebel, the 
said rebel being a feeble-minded youth, a " moon- 
struck," to whom, as a matter of charity, he had 
given occasional work in weeding his garden. On 


Myths and Legends 

the night after Doctor Diaz's arrest his wife was 
requested by a messenger to go quickly to a small 
house on the edge of the town to meet one who 
might secure his release, but wished to consult with 
her as to the means. Hastily wrapping a mantilla 
about her, she followed the messenger to the street ; 
then, as acting under sudden impulse, left him wait- 
ing for a moment, while she returned to bolt a 
door. In that moment, unseen by the messenger, 
she slipped a sheathed stiletto into the bosom of 
her dress. 

The house was a ramshackle cottage, with a damp 
and moldy air pervading it within and without. 
The negro messenger opened the door without 
knocking, held it open while she passed in, then 
abruptly closed it and turned a key on the out- 
side. The woman was trapped. In a minute 
voices were heard in the street ; that of the messen- 
ger, and one that she knew better, — and worse, — 
the voice of Captain Gonzales. 

The situation flashed upon her. Her husband 
had been falsely charged. She had been lured to 
this place, and would leave it dead or dishonored. 
The walls of the cabin swam before her, and she 
had nearly fallen when the sound of the key in the 
lock aroused her. A fierce chill shook h-er frame. 
She held to a table for support. A tumult of 
thought possessed her, but as the door swung open 
it quieted to a single idea : hardly a thought : a pur- 


In the Caribbean 

In the light of the single candle that stood on the 
table she saw Captain Gonzales enter. He had 
been at the wine. His eyes were heavy, his cheeks 
a dusky red, his mouth was more sensual, his jaw 
more cruel than ever. He stepped inside and locked 
the door. " Your pardon, sefiora, for these strong 
measures," he said, in a thick tone. " I am a victim 
of love and hate. Your hus — another — has hated 
me. Your husband is — is — likely to be absent for 
some time. You will require a protector. I have 
the honor to offer myself. I throw myself at the 
feet of the loveliest lady in Cuba. I tell her of 
the love that for the past year has turned my life to 
torture. I will be her companion, her adorer, 
only — ha ! You smile ! It is not possible you care 
for me.'' It is joy too great. Senora ! Isabella! 
Can it be ?" 

** And you never suspected it before ?" 
The face was white, the lips twitched, but the 
smile remained. The woman cast down her eyes — 
what star-bright eyes they were ! — then slowly 
opened her arms. With a roaring laugh Gonzales 
strode across the room. The laugh changed to a 
gurgling cry as he placed his hands upon her waist. 
His hand went to his sword, but fumbled ; his knees 
shook ; then he fell backward at full length, with his 
heart's blood pulsating from a dagger-wound. The 
wife of Doctor Diaz picked up the key that had 
fallen from his fingers, unlocked the door, and re- 
turned to her home alone. 


Myths and Legends 


IN the bay where more than three and a half 
centuries later the Spanish fleet was to be 
destrpyed the don once fought the enemy with 
different result. It was in 1538, in the harbor of 
Santiago de Cuba, that the battle occurred, — San- 
tiago of sad memory, with its shambles, where in- 
surgents were shot by platoons ; with its landings, 
where slaves were unloaded at night and marched 
thence to the plantations, like mules and cattle ; 
with its Morro, connected by wells and traps with 
caves in the rock beneath, where bodies of men 
mysteriously done to death slipped away on the 
tide. A French privateer had appeared before the 
town, demanding ransom or surrender. Luckily for 
Santiago, a Spanish caravel had arrived a few days 
before, under command of Captain Diego Perez, 
and this gallant sailor offered to go out and defend 
the town. His ship was attacked as soon as it came 
within range of the enemy's guns, and, turning so as 
to deliver an effective fire, he gave as good as he got. 
All that day the people of the town heard the pound- 
ing of the brass pieces and saw the smudge of powder 
against the blue to the south, yet at the fall of even- 
ing little damage had been done : the ships lay too 
far apart, and the aim on both sides was ridiculous. 
Each commander had seen enough of his adver- 
sary to respect him, however, and moved by a com- 
mon impulse they raised white flags, declared for a 


In the Caribbean 

cessation of hostilities through the night, and every 
night, so long as they should continue to oppose one 
another. Then followed an exchange of fruit and 
wine, of which both crews were in need, and, con- 
fident in the honor of their enemies, all hands slept 
as tired men usually sleep. Said the Spanish cap- 
tain to the French commander in the morning, 
** Artillery is a cowardly and abominable invention. 
It is desired to hurt a foe while those who serve it 
run no risk. How say you if we put the tompions 
back into our cannon and fight, as chivalric men 
should ever fight, with sword and pike ?" 

To this the Frenchman gave willing consent, and, 
the ships ranging near, the battle reopened, after 
prayers and breakfast, to some purpose. With cries 
of " Santo lago !" the Spanish tried to board the 
pirate ship, but could not secure a footing. Blows 
were exchanged throughout the day, save when one 
ship or the other drew off, that the wounded might 
have attention, and the dying prayers, for much 
blood was shed and several lost their lives. At the 
end of the day both commanders declared their 
admiration for the skill and courage of their oppo- 
nents, and again gave presents of fruit and wine as 
they stopped work until the morrow. Perez sent 
ashore that night to tell the people of Santiago that 
fighting was an exhausting business, and to some 
extent a risky one, and would they kindly send a 
few able-bodied fellows to replace the dead and 
disabled on his ship .? 


Myths and Legends 

The response to this call was so meagre that he 
began to mistrust his countrymen, and he asked if, 
in case he lost his ship, the town would reimburse 
him, considering that he was risking his all in their 
defence. After much debate the townsmen replied, 
through their officials, that they were not in a posi- 
tion to make good his loss, but they trusted that 
such a calamity would not be possible; that he 
would maintain a stout heart and light on to prove 
the superiority of Spanish valor to French craft ; 
that the blessed Santo lago would watch over him and 
his gallant crew ; that their best wishes were with 
him, and that his kindness would never, never be for- 
gotten. A trifle disheartened. Captain Perez never- 
theless resumed the fight on the next day, and again 
on the fourth day, and after the usual exchange of 
courtesies at evening, he told the privateer on the 
fifth day that he would encounter with him as usual. 
The persistence of the Spaniard in thus holding out 
against seeming odds — for the Frenchman had the 
larger crew — set the privateer to thinking, and a 
sudden fear arose within him that Spanish reinforce- 
ments were on their way, and that Perez was merely 
fighting for time until they should arrive. This fear 
grew until it became belief, though a baseless one, 
and, hoisting sail as quietly as possible, he stole out 
of Santiago Bay on the fourth night after hostilities 
had opened. As thanks are cheap, Perez received 
a good many of them. 


In the Caribbean 


AS in all the Spanish Americas, there were 
churchly feasts and celebrations in Cuba 
whose origin has been forgot. Why did the slaves 
serenade their masters on New Year morning, 
jingling huge tambourines, and in the villages how 
came it to be thought that the cause of righteousness 
was advanced by parades and music on saints* days ? 
Hatred of the Jews was an inheritance rather than 
an experience, and for lack of Jews to prove it upon 
there was an annual display of wrath at Judas, who 
was represented by a grotesque effigy made up of 
straw, old clothes, and a mask. In the cities this 
figure was merely called The Jew, and after being 
carried through the streets with revilings, on the day 
after Good Friday, it was hanged in some conspic- 
uous place and there stoned and shot by the crowd. 
In Santiago there used to be a queer celebration on 
the 6th of January, " the day of the kings," or " All 
Kings' day," meaning the kings who journeyed to 
Bethlehem to worship the new-born Christ. In 
time this function lost its dignity and became a 
sport, a gasconade, in which the slaves attired them- 
selves extravagantly and paraded about, begging, 
blowing horns, beating drums, and bandying jokes 
with the spectators. In the days of King Congo 
the procession had some claim to show and impor- 
tance, if only because he was at the head of it, for 
he had, in ways known only to himself, come into 


Myths and Legends 

possession of the chapeau of a captain-general, a 
lieutenant's coat, one epaulette, a pair of blue 
breeches, and a belt ; hence, attired in all these 
grandeurs at once, and mounted on a mule, he 
looked every inch the king he said he was. For, 
albeit, he had been a slave, he claimed an African 
king as his father, and as that parent was dead, for 
aught he could certify to the contrary, the title, if 
not the crown and emoluments, descended to him ; 
leastwise, nobody on this side of the sea could dis- 
pute it ; and he bore it with conscious dignity. His 
family name, if he had one, has been lost, and it is 
as King Congo that he was known. That his roy- 
alty was genuine the other negroes never doubted, 
and to parade on the day of the kings without a real 
king of their own color to marshal the procession 
was not to be thought of. 

El Rey Congo was aware of his power and of the 
impression he made on the humbler residents of 
Santiago. Every now and then he heightened his 
superiority to common clay by appearing in public 
in a starched collar, looking over the top of it with an 
assumption of pride and ease, as of one born to such 
luxury, but in reality chafing his neck against its 
ragged edges and longing to be in the fields, where 
he would not need to be spectacular. One year the 
day of the kings dawned without a cloud, and 
Santiago was in a holiday humor. Everybody who 
had work to do postponed it till to-morrow, as if 
All Kings' Day were like every other day ; for the 


In the Caribbean 

procession that year was to be extra large and fine. 
King Congo was to ride with spurs, though bare- 
footed, and was to have a military guard of four 
men. The band had been increased, especially in 
the drum department, and the ladies, who would 
have figured in the king's court if he had had a 
court, were turbaned in new bandanas of red and 
yellow. The clergy and ofiicers of the garrison 
had promised to review the parade, and the cooper, 
down by the custom-house, suggested that he'd 
better put a few hoops around King Congo to keep 
his swelling heart from cracking his ribs. 

A long trumpet-call from the square announced 
the hour for assembly, and all eyes turned toward 
the street through which the king had been used to 
make his entry. He did not come. Tardiness is a 
privilege of kings. It proves them superior to the 
obligations laid upon the vulgar herd. Beside, what 
is an hour in a manana country } But as the hour 
went by and the king kept refraining from his ar- 
rival, some presuming subjects went to look him up, 
and after much inquiry and pedestrian exercise they 
found the sovereign in jail. His Majesty explained 
that he had been arrested for debt a few days before, 
and that because of a shortage in the paltry coin of 
a white man's state — a wretched matter of ^4.15 — 
he was doomed to remain behind the bars, perhaps 
forever. The messengers ran back to the square, 
made an excited appeal to the populace, scratched 
the required sum together in penny subscriptions, 


Myths and Legends 

paid the innkeeper every centavo that the king 
owed him, woke up the sheriff and the magistrate, 
and before noon King Congo was a free man, in the 
same old uniform, riding the same old mule, and 
stiffly bowing to the admiring populace as he passed. 
The parade was a great success. So was the 
scheme conceived that morning by el Rey Congo ; 
for, every year thereafter, three or four days be- 
fore the festival of the adoration, he laid in supplies 
of rum and cigars, with even a new hat or a second- 
hand medal, and after getting the goods safely be- 
stowed in his cabin, defied his creditors to collect 
their pay. The shopkeepers winked at this device, 
and regularly sent him to jail, for they knew that on 
the 6th of January their royal customer would pay, 
though by proxy. And that is more than you can 
say of some kings. Isn't it ? 


IN 1779 the Bishop of Havana took into his 
household as servants, and into the cathedral as 
altar-boys, three harum-scarum Indians, then said to 
have come from Florida, now believed to have been 
of Mexican origin, though there were not wanting 
citizens who solemnly declared that the trio had 
come from a warmer place than any on the surface 
of this planet. The object in the bishop's mind 
was to Christianize the scapegraces and turn them 
loose among their own people, that they, too, might 


In the Caribbean 

be made to see the light. The poor old clergyman 
little knew with whom he had to deal. When the 
astonishment of the youngsters at the glories of 
Havana had subsided, and even a regiment with a 
band could parade without their company, the In- 
dian in them asserted itself once more, and they 
grieved the bishop by playing hookey, shirking mass, 
running off to the mountains on hunting trips, 
and once, when he went out in his night-cap to 
inquire the cause of a rumpus in his yard, they 
tripped him up and circled around and around, 
whooping like demons while he was trying to regain 
his feet and apply his cane. 

At last they upset, not the clergy but the laws. 
Their offence was not grave, being rather a result of 
high spirits than of malice, but it brought the con- 
stabulary upon them and they were carried to the 
arsenal to work out the term of their imprisonment 
at loading ships and other heavy, uncongenial labor. 
Not many days had passed here before a chance 
offered for their escape, and they seized upon it, 
vanishing under the noses of the guard — at least, 
that was the way the guard reported it — like shad- 
ows before the sun. In fact, from that hour they 
were looked upon as a bit uncanny. The three 
lads found a hiding-place in the Falaco vegas, among 
a vagrom populace of brigands, runaway slaves, 
and wreckers, and there for several weeks they sup- 
ported themselves by hunting, fishing, gambling, 
even working a little when sore pressed. Better if 


Myths and Legends 

they had been left alone to live oat their lives there. 
If useless, they at least were harmless. But, no ; 
the majesty of the law again asserted itself. They 
were caught by a company of soldiers and marched 
back to Havana. Their protector and friend, the 
bishop, was dead. Again they were laden with 
chains and returned to the arsenal to work out some 
months of penal servitude. Their natures seemed 
to change in a day. To them Spaniards and Cubans 
now stood for tyranny and injustice. They did not 
understand their imprisonment as a correction : it 
was an act of oppression, and how were they to 
know that it would not last for the remainder of 
their lives ? Every waking moment from the time 
of their second arrest they gave to plots for liberty 
and vengeance. The escape came presently. It 
seemed as if walls and bars were not made that 
could restrain them. 

Two days after this last escape the country-side 
was stirred with horror, for just before dawn a 
hamlet near Guanes was burned, and when the 
neighbors, attracted by the flame and smoke seen 
above the tree-tops, arrived on the ground they 
found the gashed bodies of the inhabitants lying 
about on the gore-sodden earth. The quickness, 
the secrecy of the act were terrifying. All sorts of 
fantastic reports were spread about the province, 
especially after the massacre and the burning had 
been repeated in a second village — and a third — and 
a fourth. The vega was in a panic. The people 


In the Caribbean 

went from place to place only in armed bands. The 
Vuelta Abajo was completely cowed, and sentries 
patrolled every settlement. It was reported that 
the murders had been committed by three giants 
who cut down men, horses, and cattle as they 
stalked across the country, and whose weapons were 
charmed, so that they always struck a vital spot, no 
matter how carelessly they were aimed. The three 
monsters were of vast strength and horrible counte- 
nance ; they climbed tall cliffs as cats climb fences, 
and leaped chasms fifty feet across as other men skip 
over gutters. 

A cave near Cape San Antonio that the aborigines 
had chambered for tombs was their reputed hiding- 
place, where they also worshipped their master, 
Satan, with fantastic ceremonies, and sacrificed in his 
honor the best of the cattle, sheep, and horses they 
captured on their raids. And the utter helplessness 
of the Spanish authorities gave a certain color to 
these rumors, for the giants snapped their fingers at 
their pursuers and went on killing, looting, burning, 
running off stock, always appearing in unexpected 
places and disappearing like mists at sunrise. Thus, 
two and a half years went by, and the offer of five 
thousand dollars each for the heads of the devil- 
brigands had come to nothing. Finally the Havana 
authorities were prayed and pestered into a spell of 
activity. They organized a troop of one hundred 
and fifty men and sixty dogs, put twenty officers 
at the head, and sent along four chaplains to pray 


Myths and Legends 

the evil charms away. The three savages were cor- 
nered on a mountain, where two of them were killed 
after they had inflicted many hurts on their pur- 
suers. The heads of these two were lopped, for- 
warded to the capital, and every one supposed that 
the reign of terror was at an end. 

But, as if the strength of the slain ones had passed 
into his arm, the third man, Taito Perico, who had 
escaped during the fight, became a greater scourge 
than ever. He was fury incarnate, and so sudden 
were his visitations, so quick and deadly his work, 
so complete his disappearances, that more than ever 
it was believed he was a fiend. He resumed the 
work of slaughter in the Vuelta Arriba. He had a 
horse now, carried a huge lance, and killed or 
wounded almost every one he met, — but not all. 
There was in this black heart a core of sympathy. 
Once he stole a little child and kept her with him 
for some time, lavishing on her the affection of a 
barbarian big brother, and so endearing him to her 
that when she was rescued from his jungle haunt, 
while he was absent hunting, she wept for the kind 
Taito Perico, even in her parents* arms. Then he 
stole a boy of eight years and kept him for some 
months, allowing him at the end of that time to 
return unharmed to his parents. 

It was in one of these abductions that he worked 
his own undoing. Near St. John of the Remedies 
lived the pretty Anita de Pareira, daughter of a 
frugal and worthy couple and fiancee of a prosperous 

1 60 

In the Caribbean 

planter of the district. The time for the wedding 
having been set, the father and mother were in their 
little garden discussing ways and means, and Anita 
was indoors trimming the gown in which she was 
to walk to the altar. Her head was full of pretty- 
fancies, and she hummed softly to herself as she 
plied her needle or gazed into the distance, smiling 
at the pictures created by her own fancy. She was 
rudely awakened from these pleasing reveries. The 
door was burst in by a tremendous blow with a fist 
and there stood glaring upon her a Caliban with 
mighty neck and shoulders, great goggling eyes, a 
hooked nose, a bush of coarse hair erect upon his 
head, and a stout lance in his hand. As this crea- 
ture advanced into the room with extended arms 
she swooned and did not regain her senses until she 
had been carried for a mile or more from her home. 
She found herself lying across the back of a horse 
that was galloping furiously toward the hills with the 
savage in the saddle behind her. 

The father and mother ran into the road toss- 
ing their hands in despair ; a dozen belated rescuers 
hurried to them, each arrival adding his screams 
to the hubbub ; then each advising the rest what 
should be done, and nobody doing anything. The 
young planter, Anita's betrothed, was quickly on the 
ground, and he alone was resolute and cool. He 
gathered the bolder men about him, saw that they 
were supplied with proper arms and mounts, and 
with encouraging words to those who were left 
II l6l 

Myths and Legends 

behind, he rode away on the outlaw's trail. Over 
pastures, through ravines, across rivers, under for- 
est arches dim as twilight, they hurried on, a pack 
of hounds yapping in advance, a broken branch, 
a trampled bush, a hoof-print in the margin of a 
stream also giving proof that they were on the right 
path ; a herder, who had seen the ruffian pass, like- 
wise testifying to the fact, and giving his service to 
the company ; and so they came to a clearing, where 
they found the marauder's abandoned and exhausted 

Putting their own horses under guard of negroes, 
twenty of the men pressed on afoot through tangled 
vines and thorny bushes, still led by the dogs, until 
they brought up at the bottom of a tall cliff, and here 
the hounds seemed to be at fault, for they ran around 
and around a tree, looking up into it and whining. 
The herder swung himself into the branches and 
scrambled almost to the top. ** Nobody here," he 
called. Then, when he had partly descended, they 
heard him utter an exclamation of surprise. He 
crept to the end of a long branch and swung lightly 
to a shelf on the face of the crag. ** Footsteps !" 
he exclaimed, in a low, strained voice, and pointed 
to a thin turf that covered the jut of rock. The 
dogs were right. Taito Perico had climbed the 
tree and scaled the cliff. The dogs were hoisted by 
means of a lariat, the men gained the shelf, and 
clambering along in single file they presently reached 
the summit. A furious barking led them on ; then 


In the Caribbean 

those in the rear heard a shout. The savage was 
seen, half a mile away, crossing an opening at a run 
and striking at the dogs that leaped and yelped 
around him. Leaving his companions to follow the 
Indian, the lover devoted himself to the search for 
Anita, and presently found her at the foot of a tree, 
bound, gagged, but safe and thankful. 

For several days and nights the chase went on and 
on with reinforcements, and the Indian was at last 
overtaken on the mountain that, in memory of the 
event, bears the name of Loma del Indio, where he 
was slain, to the great relief of the whole island. 
Even in death his aspect was so terrific that the 
people along the way were set a-shaking and a-pray- 
ing as his body was carried on to Puerto Principe. 
Though he could do harm no longer, the post- 
mortem punishment inflicted on him gave general 
satisfaction ; for the corpse was first hanged, then 
dragged at a horse's heels, then chopped apart and 
buried in several places, and the head, in a cage, 
was exposed on a pole in Tanima. And if three 
men like Taito Perico could terrorize all Cuba, a 
hundred of such would have freed it. 


" "XT O trifling, senor. Speak up plainly and say 
X 1 what you heard." The prosecuting at- 
torney gave a nervous twitch at his pointed beard, 
a habit peculiar to him, and leaned a little toward 


Myths and Legends 

the witness. The elder judge blinked drowsily, 
straightened in his chair, then turned and looked at 
the crucifix on the wall, for when the sun touched 
the bloody figure on the cross it was time for lunch. 
It was still in shadow. He sighed. His associates 
of the tribunal were duly attent. 

** I'm afraid you will not believe me," objected 
the witness. 

" Never mind your fears. Come, now : You 
were passing the deserted inn on the Minas road, 
you say, when you heard a voice. The voice of 
one of the brigands ?" 

** I hardly think so, sefior." 

** How ? You charge this defendant here " 

" With attempted robbery. Yes, senor attorney. 
But it was not his voice that spoke. I think worse 
mischief has been done near the inn." 

*' Worse mischief?" 

" Truly. For when this thief heard the words 
he let his pistol fall and dropped the bridle of my 
mule. By the moon I could see his face glisten with 
sweat, and it looked white." 

** He was afraid, eh ? He was a coward ? This 
poor cheat of a creature could not even be a bri- 
gand ?" 

" Afraid ! Any one would be. As for myself, I 
gave my mule a cut and he was off at a lope, with 
this fellow coming after as fast as his legs could 
carry him, until he ran plump into the arms of the 
civil guard." 


In the Caribbean 

" Yes, yes. You have told all that. But this 
voice. You heard it plainly ?" 

" Why, yes, although it sounded as if it came 
from a distance, or from under a building, or — or — 
out of a tomb. I couldn't — I couldn't help think- 
ing it sounded like a man beneath a floor." 

The attorney twisted his beard again impatiently, 
coughed, then tightly folded his arms. He was 
silent for a little. Then, as if surprising himself 
out of a revery, he commanded, ** Well, well. Go 

** This voice, senor," resumed the witness, lean- 
ing forward and speaking mysteriously, " it was so 
hollow and low, and spoke the words so long, like 
a creature dying and in pain, and it gave me a 

** Are you never to tell us what it said ?" 

" It moaned, * For the sake of the Virgin, of Her 
Blessed Son, of the Holy Saint Peter, of the Good 
God, pray for me. Pray for a sinner. Beg the 
good fathers at Nuevitas to say a mass for the soul 
of Enrique Carillo.' Then there was a sort of 
groan " 

" My God !" It was the prosecutor who had 
gasped the words. 

" Yes, just like that. Ah ! Pardon, senor. I 
did not see. You are ill." 

For the lawyer's face had become of a deathly 
pallor, his head had sunk forward, his lips trembled, 
his hands shook as they clutched the edge of the 


Myths and Legends 

table behind him. The idlers in the back of the 
room were awake in a moment. The sun touched 
the figure of Christ, splashed with blood in the 
fashion of the official crucifix, and it seemed to 
look down on the scene below as in torture. The 
prisoner's counsel sprang forward, placed a chair for 
his opponent and helped him to be seated. An 
officer brought a glass of water, which the lawyer 
drank eagerly, then sat as in a daze for an instant, 
shuddered, passed his hands over his face, and said, 
** I ask the indulgence of the court. I have lost my 
sleep for the last few nights. I — I '* 

The senior judge had half-risen, his wig awry, 
his hands gripping the arms of the chair. " Clear 
the court ! It is the fever !" he cried. 

There was a stampede of the unoccupied in the 
back of the room. The others in the court reached 
for their hats and drew away, leaving the prosecutor 
alone. He smiled faintly. " No, your Honor,'* he 
said. ** It is over now. It was a touch of faint- 
ness ; nothing more." 

*' With the consent of counsel I will adjourn the 

The face of the prosecutor hardened ; he set his 
jaw doggedly, he regained his feet with a sort of 
spring. The judges slipped back deeper into their 
seats ; the elder wiped his brow and puffed. 

** We will go on," said the attorney, in a calmer 
voice. " The testimony is practically exhausted. I 
have to confess that 1 have been somewhat disap- 


In the Caribbean 

pointed in the witnesses, but I submit the case on 
the evidence without argument." 

It was plain that the people's representative was 
not at his best that morning. The trial was hurried 
on, the lawyer for the defence insisting principally 
that, as the complainant had fled from the scene 
of the attempted robbery without looking back, he 
could not possibly swear that the man in the pris- 
oner's dock was the one who had held his bridle. 
Was it not at least probable that the accused had 
told the truth when he said he had been roused by 
the outcry of the man on mule-back and had run 
down the road to see what the matter was ? More- 
over, as no loss had been suffered, was it not a 
slender ground for prosecution ? The old judge 
looked back at the crucifix. The illumination was 
passing. The knees were already in shadow. He 
was an hour late for his lunch. He whispered 
with the other judges for a rnoment, then smote the 
desk before him. ** No evidence. The prisoner is 
discharged. Adjourn the court," he exclaimed. 
And for once in the history of Puerto Principe the 
law had been prompt. The accused, who had been 
stolid and dull throughout the trial, now smiled cun- 
ningly to himself, and saying no word to any one, 
but with a sidelong look at the lawyers, left the 
building without loss of time, and after investing a 
few coppers in bad brandy at the least inviting grog- 
gery in town, disappeared down the road leading to- 
ward Minas. There were several anxious inquiries 


Myths and Legends 

at the house of Prosecutor Ramirez that evening, 
but he was in his usual health. There was no occa- 
sion for alarm as to the fever. 

Two nights after this a couple of planters were 
stopped near the old inn by a man of rough appear- 
ance, whose face was masked, and were forced at the 
pistol's point to give up their watches and money. 
A few nights later a man left town with money to 
discharge a bill. He never reached his destina- 
tion. In each case the criminals left no trace. The 
environs of Puerto Principe were growing in ill- 

The prosecutor was leaving home on an evening 
when rain seemed threatening. This was probably 
his reason for wearing a cloak, — a protection seldom 
needed, except at night and in bad weather. It was 
against his usual habit that he had drawn his cloak 
high about his shoulders, so that his face was half- 
concealed, and this made it the more difficult for one 
who was following to know if he were, or were 
not, the man he sought. Convinced, after a little, 
that he was, he hurried forward and placed his hand 
on his arm. The lawyer started and uttered an ex- 
clamation. " Are you not Don Pablo Ramirez '* 
asked the unknown. 

The prosecutor looked long and searchingly at 
the frank-faced stranger, then answered, shortly, ** I 
am he." 

*' I thought so. Allow me : I am Captain Al- 
fonso Garcia Estufa, of the Engineer Corps. I 

1 68 

In the Caribbean 

come from Havana with authority from the gov- 
ernor-general to confer with you about the brigands 
in this province." 

" Ah, indeed ! You are welcome, senor captain. 
I was about to make a business call on a tenant in 
this street. May I ask if you will make my house 
your own till I return ? I shall be absent but a few 
moments. I will go back with you and open the 
door. Enter, if you please. The sherry is on the 
sideboard. Cigars you will find on the table. Call 
my servant, if you require anything." Then, hur- 
rying out once more, the lawyer almost ran upon his 
errand. In a quarter of an hour he returned and 
the two began their discussion over a decanter of 
choice Madeira. 

" It still seems to me," said the young officer, 
after the talk had been going on for some minutes, 
" that the bold policy is the better, though we may 
need secrecy in certain cases, for these devils of bri- 
gands smell powder a mile away. On my life, they 
do. Pve dealt with them in Pinar del Rio, and they 
tell me they are more slippery and far-seeing, or far- 
smelling, in this province. They must have con- 
federates here in town." 

" Confederates ? Preposterous, senor ! Why do 
you think that ?" 

** Oh, I've been investigating a little. Either the 
brigands here are clever, or some man who is more 
clever has them in hand, and knows enough not to 
mix with them, — some man who can persuade them, 


Myths and Legends 

or terrorize them, or shield them. Have you no 
conceit as to who in this city is fitted for a chief- 
tainship like that ?" 

" I ? None." 

" I had hoped you knew your fellow-citizens well 
enough to advise me whom to watch. No ? Then, 
at least, tell me where it would be best to place my 

*' The trails toward Sibanicu." 

" Trails ? Sibanicu ? Why, there's no travel in 
that quarter. The robberies have happened be- 
tween here and Minas." 

•* Exactly. So many have happened that the bri- 
gands must abandon it henceforth. They know they 
are watched, and I'll warrant your coming here, and 
the object of it, are already common talk among 

" Humph !" 

** People who are bound for the coast are begin- 
ning to go around already, so as to avoid the Minas 
road. If our scamps are as clever as you think, 
they will not be long in following." 

" There is something in that, and I thank you 
for the hint. We will meet again shortly. Mean- 
while, pray study the situation." 

** You are not going ?" 

** I cannot stop with you, senor, greatly as I 
should be pleased to do so, for I have agreed to meet 
my lieutenants at the other end of the town. Good- 


In the Caribbean 

** Good-night, then, if you will not stay. Tell 
me early what success you have in the chase of our 
good citizens of Puerto Principe." 

The captain left the house with a light and jaunty 
step, yet he looked about him thoughtfully. He 
had not gone far when the night stillness was broken 
by the crack of a fire-arm not ten paces away. A 
bullet cut his hat. He turned quickly. Nobody 
was in sight. The air was thick with mist, and 
nobody was stirring. ** Scoundrel !" cried the offi- 
cer, shaking his fist at the darkness. '* You shall 
pay dear for that — you and your people. Do you 
hear ?" 

There was no answer. He walked on at a faster 

Before the sun was up next morning the captain 
and his men had withdrawn from Puerto Principe. 
Few in the town knew that he had been there. 
None knew whither he had gone. 

It was nine o'clock on the night following the 
interview. A fitful wind stirred the trees that 
densely shadowed the Minas road. From a chink 
in the walls of a dilapidated house that stood back 
from the highway a light shone faintly, but except 
for the sough of the leaves and the whirring and 
lisping that betoken the wakefulness of insect life 
there was no sound. None ? What was that ? 
Down the road, from Nuevitas way, came a blowing 
and stamping of horses laboring through mud. The 
crack of light still shone, and nothing moved along 


Myths and Legends 

the wayside. As the horses came nearer a lantern 
could be seen hanging from the sheep-neck of the 
older one, and two voices could be heard in talk, — 
such village gossip as farmers might exchange when 
the way was tiresome. The horses plodded on till 
they were abreast of the house, when there was a 
whistle ; the crack of light widened, suddenly there 
was a rush of feet, a torch was brandished, and 
brown hands fell upon the bridles. 

One of the riders cried out, flung up his arms, 
and begged for mercy. They might take his mas- 
ter's money, if they would, but for the sake of St. 
Isaac, St. Matthew, and St. John, let them spare his 
life. The other horseman, tall, spare, wrapped in 
a cloak, swung down from his saddle in a business- 
like way, addressed a remark in a low tone to the 
brigands, took the lantern from the neck of his 
neighbor's nag, — it was a fine, mettled black he rode 
himself, — turned up the flap of his hat a little, only 
a little, not enough to reveal his face, and proceeded 
to rifle the pockets and saddle-bags of his amazed 
companion. The lantern and the torch shone on 
six or eight as hang-dog faces as would be met in a 
day's journey, and among them was one closely 
resembling the prisoner who had been discharged 
on a trial two or three weeks before for lack of evi- 
dence. The victim of this robbery having given up 
all he seemed to possess was told to ride straight into 
town without word or halt, else he would be shot, 
and a fierce stroke being given with the whip, his 


In the Caribbean 

horse was off at such a gallop that he had much ado 
to keep his seat. The thieves heaped the saddle- 
bags and parcels into the middle of the road and 
bent near, while the man in the cloak opened them 
and examined their contents in the flickering light. 
A gust of wind made the torch flare and put the 
lantern out. The cloaked man muttered an oath, 
and had partly risen to his feet, when there came a 
sound that caused him to stagger and hold his hands 
to his head as if in mortal terror. It was a wailing 
voice, and it pleaded, " For the sake of the Virgin, 
of Her Blessed Son, of the Holy Saint Peter, of the 
Good God, pray for me. Pray for a sinner. Beg 
the good fathers at Nuevitas to say a mass for the 
soul of Enrique Carillo." 

The cloaked man groaned. The others crouched, 
shuddering, and their eyes in the red torch-flame 
were the eyes of goblins. In another moment a 
shock ran through the group, for another voice, 
clear and stern, commanded, ** As you value your 
lives, don't stir. Men, do not fire unless I tell 

A light flashed up, then another, and the bandits 
discovered themselves in the centre of a ring formed 
by twenty men, with the young captain in com- 
mand. Resistance would have been foolish, flight 
impossible ; yet, as the captain stepped toward the 
brigand leader, the man in the cloak attempted the 
foolish and impossible ; he fired his pistol full at the 
captain's head, flung the weapon after the bullet, 


Myths and Legends 

missing his aim each time, then started to run, up- 
setting one of the soldiers as he did so. 

" Fire !" cried the captain. 

Two musket-shots came upon the word. The 
tall man tumbled headlong. ** It is one the less to 
hang," exclaimed the officer, as he snatched a torch 
from the hand of one of his men. He bent over 
the prostrate form : the robber had been killed in- 
stantly. He withdrew the cloak from the face and 
looked long without speaking. Finally he said, ** I 
was a better ghost than I supposed. These brigands 
will have to elect a new leader, and Puerto Principe 
must have a new prosecuting attorney.'* 

In the deserted inn, under the kitchen floor, were 
found the remains of Enrique Carillo and several 
other victims of the robbers. And it is said that on 
All Souls' eve their ghosts block the road and beg 
all who pass to pray for them and to pay for a few 
masses. Most importunate of all is the ghost of 
Pablo Ramirez. 


$n tbt pacific 


In m pacific 


ONE of the oldest legends of the Hawaiians 
relates to the finding of their islands by 
Hawaiiloa, a great chief and great-grandson of 
Kinilauamano, whose twelve sons became the foun- 
ders of twelve tribes. Guided by the Pleiades he 
sailed westward from America, or northward from 
some other group, — doubtless the latter, — and so 
came to these pleasant lands, to the largest of which 
he gave his own name, while the lesser ones com- 
memorate his children. In another tradition the 
islands of Oahu and Molokaj were the illegitimate 
children of two of his descendants, who were 
wedded, but jealous of one another and faithless. 
Still another folk-tale runs to the effect that an 
enormous bird, at least as large as the American 
thunder-bird or the roc of Arabia, paused in its 
flight across the sea and laid an egg which floated 
on the water. The warmth of the ocean and the 
ardor of the sun hatched the egg, and from it came 
the islands, which grew, in time, to their present 
size, and ever increased in beauty. Some years 
after they were found by a man and a woman who 

12 177 

Myths and Legends 

had voyaged from Kahiki in a canoe, and liking the 
scenery and climate, they went ashore on the eastern 
side of Hawaii, and remained there to become the 
progenitors of the present race. It suggests the ark 
legend that this pair had in their canoe two dogs, 
two swine, and two fowls, from which animals 
had come all that were found running wild there 
a hundred years ago. The people can never be 
thankful enough that these visitors differed from 
Nuu in their lack of regard for the snakes, scor- 
pions, centipedes, tarantulas, and mosquitoes that 
are so common to tropic lands, for, having neglected 
to import these afflictions, the islands got on with- 
out them until recently. Mosquitoes were taken to 
Hawaii on an American ship. The hogs and dogs 
are descendants of animals that escaped from the 
wreck of the Spanish galleon Santo lago in 1527. 


HAWAIIANS claim descent from the Cushites 
of Arabia, and in their folk-lore they have 
the same agreement with the Jewish myths which 
we find so strangely in other tribes that seem to 
have no relation to one another. Like the Israelites, 
they believed in a first pair that forfeited paradise by 
sinning, and were put out of it. Like the Israelites, 
they built temples and places of worship. Like the 
Israelites, they practised circumcision. Their priests 
and chiefs were kin of the gods, and well may they 


In the Pacific 

have seemed so if it is true that the kings of the 
islands were men whose height was nine feet, and 
who flourished spears ten yards long. Even Kame- 
hameha, who died in 1819, and who was politically 
the greatest of these rulers, as he established one 
government over all of the islands, is said to have 
been a giant in strength. 

Without compasses, guided only by sun and stars, 
the people made long voyages in their canoes — ves- 
sels of a length of a hundred feet — and did battle 
with other races, fighting with spears, slings, clubs, 
axes, and knives, but not with bows or armor. 
Doubtless they exaggerate their numbers and their 
heroism, and in the last great battle, by which Kame- 
hameha became ruler of the group, it may be that 
there were not quite the sixteen thousand men he 
claimed to have when he forced the troops of Oahu 
over the cliff of Nuuanu. The language of Hawaii 
resembles the tongues spoken, in the southern archi- 
pelagoes, thereby bearing out the legend of early 
migrations. As, in the East, we hear tales that 
seem to hark back to the lost Atlantis, so among the 
Pacific tribes are faint beliefs in a continent in the 
greater ocean that sank thousands of years ago, and 
of coral islands built on its ruins that crumbled or 
were shaken down in their turn, albeit they served 
their purpose as stepping-stones between the sur- 
viving groups. 

The Columbus of Hawaii was Nanaula, a Poly- 
nesian chief, who reached them in the sixth cen- 


Myths and Legends 

tury, either blown upon them by gales or actuated 
in a long search by love of adventure. He carried 
dogs, swine, fowls, and seeds of food-plants, and for 
several centuries the people increased, lived in com- 
fort, and enjoyed the blessings of peace. Four hun- 
dred years later a large emigration occurred from 
Samoa and the Society group to these islands, and 
the new-comers proved to be the stronger. Each 
island had its chief or chiefs until this century, but 
their families had intermarried until a veritable aris- 
tocracy had been set up, with a college of heraldry, 
if you please, that recorded the ancestry brags of the 
Four Hundred. Captain Cook chanced on evil 
days when his turn came to discover the islands 
again, for although the people at first thought him 
to be the god Lono, they were so busy hating each 
other that they had not time to extend as many 
courtesies to him as they might have granted at 
some other period. When they killed him he had 
incurred their wrath by his overbearing manner, his 
contempt for their customs, and by trying to make 
prisoner of a chief who was innocently pulling one 
of the ship's boats apart to get the nails out. Juan 
Gaetano, a Spanish captain, sailing from Mexico to 
the Spice Islands in 1555, is said to have discovered 
Hawaii, but he said little about it. There are tra- 
ditions of other white visitors likewise. 

While Christian missionaries claimed to have 
worked the moral regeneration of the islands, the 
Martin Luther of the group anticipated them by 


In the Pacific 

half a year. Liholiho — that was his name — pub- 
licly kicked the idols, burned the temples, ate from 
the dishes of women, and defied the taboo. So soon 
as the natives discovered that the sea did not rise nor 
the sky fall, they rejoiced exceeding, and when one 
of the priests gathered an army and mutinied against 
the new order, they vehemently suppressed him. 
Yet the gods whom this soldier-priest defended are 
said to lament his fall in battle, and the south wind, 
stirring the shrubbery about his grave, is often heard 
to sob. The first missionaries were Yankees. They 
made some converts, acquired real estate, their ex- 
ample and teaching in political and industrial mat- 
ters were profitably heeded, and peace and pros- 
perity returned to the islands. Catholic missionaries 
were forbidden by the government to land until 
1839, when they were put ashore under the guns 
of a French man-of-war, and have remained in safety 
ever since. 

The religious faith that white men drove from 
Hawaii, or think they did, is based on the customary 
moral precepts, while the theogeny comprehends a 
trinity, composed of Kane, who plans and who lives 
in the east ; Ku, who builds, and Lono, who directs. 
These three gods in one, who had existed from the 
beginning, created light ; next they built the three 
heavens ; they then made the earth, sun, moon, and 
stars. The angels were spat from their mouths, 
and after the fruitless or experimental creation of 
Welahilana and Owe, the chief god, Kane, with his 


Myths and Legends 

saliva, mixed with red earth, made the first man, 
Kumuhonua, and from his rib took the first woman, 
Keolalcuhonua. These parents of the race were put 
into a beautiful garden, divided by three rivers that 
had their source in a lake of living water, which 
would bring the dead to life when sprinkled over 
them, and which was filled with fish that fire could 
not destroy. This living water was found again, 
ages after, by Kamapikai, who led some of the Ha- 
waiians back to it that they might bathe, and they 
emerged young, strong, and handsome ; but from 
their third voyage to the lake they never returned. 
In the garden stood a bread-fruit tree and an apple 
tree, both taboo. Whether Kanaloa, the rebellious 
angel, persuaded the first pair to pluck the forbidden 
fruit, or whether he wrought their downfall in some 
other fashion, we do not know ; but he was angry 
because they refused to worship him, and because 
the man whom he had created could neither rise 
nor speak ; so, in the form of a lizard, he went into 
the garden and beguiled the pair, Kane sent a large 
white bird and drove them out. Of the three sons 
of the parents of the race the elder slew the second, 
and in the thirteenth generation came the deluge, 
from which Nuu was saved, for at the command of 
Kane he built an ark, took refuge in it with his 
family, and, with pairs of every species of bird, beast, 
and reptile, was released by the gods after the water 
had gone down, and found that his ark was resting 
on the top of Mauna Loa. The rainbow was the 


In the Pacific 

stair by which Kane descended to him, and it was 
left in the sky as a token of forgiveness. As the 
history proceeds we recognize the story of Abraham, 
and of Joseph and his brethren, and the likeness to 
the Bible narrative ceases after an account of the 
long wanderings and troubles of the people in their 
search for the land set apart for them by Kane, — a 
search in which they were led by two brothers. 

It was only in the eleventh century that the 
priesthood became a power, exalted itself above the 
kings, prescribed senseless ceremonials and forms of 
worship, invented so many gods that they often for- 
got the names of them, and devised the prohibition, 
or taboo, the meaning of that word being " Obey 
or die." Among these gods none are more curious 
than the stones of Kaloa beach, Ninole, Hawaii. 
The natives, who believed that they had sex, and 
propagated, chose male specimens for their house- 
hold deities. In order to make sure whether or not 
they were really gods, the stones were blessed in a 
temple, wrapped in a dress, and taken to see a game 
of skill or strength. If the owner of the god won 
he gave to the piece of stone the credit for his vic- 
tory and established it in his house ; but if he lost, 
the stone was thrown aside. If the believer wanted 
to make sure of finding a god he would take a beach 
pebble of each sex, wrap the two in cloth, and put 
them away for a time. When they were brought 
back to the light a smaller pebble, the result of their 
union, was found with them. This grew, like an 


Myths and Legends 

animal, until it was of a size to be blessed by the 
priests and formally declared to be a god. The 
original pebbles are of black trap, compact lava, and 
white coral. Beside the gods there were spirits that 
could be called from the grave by wizards, although 
this power rested only with the strongest and most 
righteous of the class. The soul of a living creature 
might also leave his body and exhibit itself to one 
at a distance, as Margrave projected his luminous 
apparition in Bulwer's "Strange Story." 

It was the gods of the second rank, however, that 
seemed most busy for good or mischief in human 
affairs : such gods as Pele, the spirit of the volca- 
noes, with her five brothers and eight sisters who 
lived in the flaming caverns of Kilauea ; or as Kalai- 
pahoa, poison-goddess of Molokai, and her two sis- 
ters, who put a bane on the trees so deadly that they 
rivalled the fabled Upas of Java, and birds fell life- 
less as they attempted to fly above them (a volcanic 
sulphur vent was probably the origin of this tale) ; 
or, as Kuahana, who slew men for sport ; or, as 
Pohakaa, who rolled rocks down the mountains to 
scare and hurt travellers ; or, as the shark and lizard 
gods that lashed the sea into storms and wrecked 
canoes. War gods of wood were carried in battle, 
among them the fierce-looking image of Kalaipahoa, 
born in the van of the army of Kamehameha, and 
made at a cost of many lives from one of the trees 
poisoned by that goddess. Its fragments were di- 
vided among his people after the king's death. 


In the Pacific 

Apropos of this figure, a gamester had lost every- 
thing except a pig, which he did not dare to 
stake, as it had been claimed for a sacrifice by a 
priest with a porlcly appetite. At the command of 
a deity, however, who appeared in his dreams, he 
disregarded the taboo and wagered the pig next day. 
Being successful in his play, he in thankfulness of- 
fered half of his gains to the deity. This god ap- 
peared on a second night and told him that if the 
king would make an idol of a certain wood growing 
near she would breathe power into it, and would 
make the gambler her priest. So the king ordered 
a tree to be cut. As the chips flew into the faces 
of the choppers they fell dead. Others, covering 
their bodies with cloth and their faces with leaves, 
managed to hew oiF a piece as large as a child's 
body, and from this the statue was carved with 
daggers, held at arm's-length ; and Kalaipahoa 
means Dagger-cut. Another god of the great king 
was Kaili, which was of wood with a head-dress 
of yellow feathers. This image uttered yells of 
encouragement that could be heard above the din of 

Statues of the gods were kept in walled enclos- 
ures, sometimes four or five acres in extent, within 
which stood the temples and altars of sacrifice, and 
there the people read the fates, as did the Greek and 
Roman soothsayers, in the shapes of clouds and the 
forms and colors of entrails of birds or of pigs 
killed on the altars. Human sacrifices were offered 


Myths and Legends 

on important occasions, but always of men, — never 
of women or children. H no criminals or pris- 
oners were available, the first gardener or fisherman 
was captured, knocked on the head, and his body 
left to decay on the altar. Oil and holy water were 
used to anoint the altar and sacred objects, and when 
a temple was newly finished its altar was piled with 
the dead. There is a striking universality among 
people in the brutal stage of development in this 
practice of pacifying their deities by murder. When 
a king or high priest offered a sacrifice of a foeman 
the butcher gouged the left eye from the body and 
gave it to his superior, who pretended to eat it. If 
a victim succeeded in escaping to a temple of refuge 
he was safe, even though he had killed a king or 
slapped the chops of a wooden god. 

All over the islands are natural monuments asso- 
ciated with instances that prove the faith of the 
people in gods, fiends, spirits, and heroes. At Mana 
Beach the ** barking" or whistling of the sands 
under the tread is held to be the wailing of buried 
Hawaiians, complaining that they are disturbed. 
Here, too, dwells the ghost of the giant Kamali- 
maloa, rising through the earth with spear and 
helmet at certain seasons and seeking two beautiful 
girls who scorned him in life, and whom he is 
doomed never to meet in death. Holes and caves 
that abound in the lava — old craters, bubbles, and 
steam-vents — also have their stories. On Kauai 
they show a series called Pele's Jumps, because 

1 86 

In the Pacific 

when the fire-goddess was driven from that island 
by the water-gods she made three long steps in the 
soft crust before undertaking the final leap that 
landed her on the slope of Kilauea. Each of these 
pits would hold a hotel. Another chasm was made 
by pulling a monster turtle out of his lair, while he 
slept, with the intent of eating him. This pit is thou- 
sands of cubic yards in extent, and the turtle maybe 
seen on a neighboring mountain, turned to stone by 
t'-.e curses of the chief from whom he tried to 
sneak away when he noticed that preparations for 
cooking were forward. Near the famous Hanapepe 
Falls is the cave of Makaopihi, variously regarded 
as a chief, a devil, and a god, who took refuge here 
from his enemies, but every now and then showed 
his contempt for them by going down the long 
slope that is still called his slide, — a recreation that 
to an ordinary mortal would mean death. 

It is curious, if not significant, that in the lan- 
guage of Tahiti, which is related to that of these 
islands, Maui appears, not as a place, but as a sun 
god who destroyed his enemies with a jaw-bone, 
while the word hawaii means hell. Strange, in- 
deed, that one of the most heavenly corners of the 
earth should have taken on a name like that. The 
volcanoes may have terrified the early comers to such 
a degree that it seemed the only fitting one if they 
chanced to arrive in the time of an eruption. 


Myths and Legends 


GODS and demi-gods as vast as their mountains 
are celebrated in the traditionary chants of 
the Hawaiians. While the largest island in the 
group seems to have been their favorite residence, it 
was the easiest thing imaginable to move, since they 
had only to step on board of their enchanted canoes 
and make a wish and they were at once wafted to 
any port they desired. A few of them did not need 
any canoes : they were of such height they could 
step from island to island, and could wade through 
the deepest oceans without submerging their heads. 
Kana would often straddle from Kauai to Oahu, like 
a colossus of Rhodes, and when a king of Kahiki, 
who was keeper of the sun, undertook to deprive 
the people of it, because of some slight, Kana waded 
across the sea and forced that king to behave him- 
self instanter ; then, having seen the light properly 
placed in the sky, he spread his breech-clout over a 
few acres of volcano to dry, and took a nap on a 
mile or so of lava bed. This deity had the power 
of compressing himself into a small space, and like- 
wise of pulling himself out to any desired length, 
like an accordion, so that there was not water in 
the eight seas deep enough to drown him. 

And Maui, the demi-god, was even more tre- 
mendous in his bulk. Whales were his playthings, 
and sharks were minnows beside him. He had to 
swim in water that reached only to his waist, be- 


In the Pacific 

cause there was no deeper, and even then his head was 
circled by clouds. He had a wife of an immensity 
comparable to his own. Once, while busily beat- 
ing out a piece of bark-cloth, the sun sank low be- 
fore she had finished her task. Like the excellent 
housewife that she was, she did not wish the day to 
end on work unfinished, so, at her request, Maui 
reached oat into the west, seized the sun, without 
burning his fingers much, pulled it back to noon and 
held it there for two or three hours while the mak- 
ing of the cloth proceeded. Then it resumed its 
journey through the heavens, and has kept excellent 
time ever since. 


THE demi-god Maui lived near Mauna Kea, 
and in roaming over that mountain he often 
felt the chill that is in high places. It set him won- 
dering why the volcano gods had never given to 
men the secret of fire, that so warmed and com- 
forted one at night. To take it from the craters 
was dangerous. One was liable to be stifled by 
sulphur, blinded by dust, scalded by steam, and de- 
stroyed by lava, for the crust was continually break- 
ing and falling. The mud-hens, or bald coots, had 
the secret, however, and when he came upon their 
little fires in the woods, Maui hid among the trees 
and watched. Despite his vast bulk, he was not 
observed, or was more probably mistaken for a hill, 


Myths and Legends 

for presently the mud-hens assembled in a glade, 
before his eyes, and made a fire by rubbing dry 
sticks together. They cooked fish and roots over 
the fire, and the savor of the banquet was so appe- 
tizing that Maui could not resist the temptation : he 
reached out and confiscated the dinner, and the mud- 
hens flew off crying. 

His attempt to catch the hens and learn from 
them how to make fire did not succeed until he had 
rolled himself in bark-cloth ; for, so disguised, and 
after patient waiting, he captured the mother hen. 
She tried to deceive him, for she did not want the 
secret to leave her family. She told him to rub 
taro stalks on the line of their spirals, the twist 
being put there for that purpose. He tried it with- 
out effect, and gave the old hen's neck a twist to 
make her tell the truth. She finally showed him 
how to make sparks with old, dry chips, and he let 
her go, but not until he had rubbed her head until 
it was raw, to punish her delay and falsehoods. And 
to this day the head of this bird is bare of feathers. 


HAWAHANS believe in " little people" that 
live in deep woods and peep and snicker at 
travellers who pass. This belief is thought to go back 
to the earliest times, and to hint at the smallness of 
the original Hawaiians, for one may take with a grain 
of salt these tales of the giant size of their kings 


In the Pacific 

and fighters. The first " little people'* were grand- 
children of Nuu, or Noah, and the big people who 
came after were Samoans. While anybody may 
hear these fairies running and laughing, only a na- 
tive can see them. They are usually kind and help- 
ful, and it is their law that any work they under- 
take must be finished before sunrise ; for they dislike 
to be watched, and scuttle off to the woods at dawn. 
Pi, a Kauai farmer, wanted a ditch to carry water 
from the Waimea River for the refreshment of his 
land near Kikiloa, and, having marked the route, he 
ordered the menehune, as they call the little people, 
to do the work. It would have been polite to 
ask rather than to command ; still, they did what 
was required of them, each oaf lugging a stone 
to the river for the dam, which may be seen to this 
day. The hum and bustle of the work were heard 
all night, and so pleased was the farmer, when 
morning came and the ditch was built, that he set a 
feast for the menehune on the next night, and it was 
gone at daybreak. There were no tramps in Ha- 
waii, so the menehune must have eaten it. Con- 
ceiving that he had acquired what our ward states- 
men call a " pull" with these helpers, he planned 
an elaborate fish-pond and put them at work again. 
He had staked off such an immense area that the 
little people could not possibly finish it by morning. 
As light streaked the east and the cocks crew they 
scampered away to the mountains, dripping with 
sweat and angered at the man who had so abused 


Myths and Legends 

their willingness. And they could never be induced 
to work for him again. 

Although of supernatural power themselves, the 
little people are religious, and have built several 
houses to the gods. On the face of the mountain 
wall, two thousand feet high, back of the leper set- 
tlement at Molokai, is a ledge that can be reached 
neither from above nor below, and on it stands a 
temple of their construction. In Pepeeko, Hilo, 
the natives labored for a month in quarrying and 
dressing stone, but when it was ready the elves 
built their temple in a night. So at Kohala they 
formed a chain twelve miles long between the quarry 
and the site, and, passing the blocks from hand to 
hand, finished the great enclosure before sunrise. 

Yet these fairies had a taste for mischief, and 
could be as active in it as so many boys. When a 
child on Maui, Laka was so loved by his father that 
he would travel many miles to buy a toy for him, 
and hearing of a strange new plaything in Hawaii, 
the father sailed to that island to get it. He never 
returned, for the natives killed him and hid his 
skeleton in a cave. When Laka had come to man's 
estate he began preparations for a voyage to that 
island, that he might either find his father or know 
his fate, for of his death he did not learn until long 
after. In these preparations he was oddly thwarted. 
Every time he hewed down a tree for a canoe it was 
gone in the morning. Out of patience, he resolved 
to catch the thieves. In order to make their task 


In the Pacific 

especially hard, he dug a hole into which the tree fell, 
when he had chopped it, so that his enemies would 
have to lift it out before they could carry it away. 
Then, in the shadow, he waited. At midnight a 
small humming and giggling were heard in the 
bushes and a company of menehune stole out into 
the shine of the moon. They began to tug at the 
fallen tree. Laka sprang upon them and captured 
two, the others running away with shrill screams, 
Laka threatened to kill his prisoners for the trouble 
they had made, but he did not really intend to 
hurt them. Their tears and cries and the rapid 
beating of their hearts, that he could feel as he 
held them under his arms, stirred his pity, and 
he agreed to let them go if they would promise to 
assemble their tribe, drag the tree to his canoe shed 
on the shore and fashion it into a boat. This they 
promised so eagerly that he put them back on the 
earth and laughed as they scampered into the thicket. 
True to their promise, they dragged the tree to the 
ocean that very night, and carved and hollowed it 
into the finest vessel to be seen on the island ; so, 
friendly relations being thus established, Laka set a 
feast for them, which they ate in thankfulness and 
never troubled him more. Whether he succeeded 
in the search for the parental bones, or left his own 
to whiten on the same soil, is not recorded, but you 
can see for yourself the hollow he dug for the tree, 
and his canoe shed was standing after white men 
reached the group. 

13 193 

Myths and Legends 


KAUPEPEE, who might have governed Molo- 
kai in the twelfth century, had he not chosen 
war as his vocation, was a believer in home rule. 
He did not like the immigrants who were swarm- 
ing northward from Tahiti and Samoa. Though 
they resembled his own race, to be sure, and spoke 
a language he could understand, he regarded them 
as greedy and revolutionary, and they worshipped 
strange gods and sometimes misused the people 
among whom they had cast their fortunes. So Kau- 
pepee resigned his kingship to his brother, and be- 
came a fighter, a devastator. With some hundreds 
of hardy men at arms and the finest ships of the 
time, hewn from Oregon pines and Canada spruces 
that had drifted to the islands, he bitterly harassed 
the other kingdoms, dashing ashore at the principal 
towns in buccaneer fashion, laying violent hands on 
their stores, capturing their handsomest women, 
breaking the taboo in their temples, killing a dozen 
of their men, then flying to his canoes again, hoist- 
ing his red sails, and putting off before the aston- 
ished people knew exactly what had happened. 

This prince had fortified himself in quite a mod- 
ern fashion at Haupu, in his native kingdom. From 
the land side the tract was reached only by a narrow 
dike which he had walled across with lava blocks, a 
tunnel beneath this obstruction affording the only 


In the Pacific 

exit toward the mountains. On the ocean front he 
had also built his forts of stone, although the sea 
boiled five hundred feet below and the plateau ended 
in an almost sheer precipice. Deep ravines on 
either side of the stronghold bent around it to the 
rocky neck, thus making the place almost an island. 
In these ravines were narrow paths by which his 
people descended to their boats, secreted on the 
'^ark and winding waters or hoisted on the rocks. 
This was the Troy of the Pacific ; Kaupepee was 
the Paris, and here he brought his Helen, who was 
Hina, the most beautiful woman of her day, and 
the wife of a chief in Hawaii. Kaupepee, encour- 
aged by his oracles, inflamed by reports of the 
woman's charm, had been lurking along the coast 
for some time, watching for his opportunity. It came 
when Hina ventured into the sea to bathe on a 
moonlight evening. Kaupepee, dashing from his 
concealment, intercepted her escape, shouted to his 
men who were in waiting behind a wooded point, and 
while the woman's friends and attendants fled shriek- 
ing to the shore, he lifted her into his canoe, pad- 
dled away to his double barge a half mile out, placed 
his lovely captive in a shelter on board, and began 
the return voyage. The drum could be heard in 
the village rousing the people, and lights twinkled 
among the trees, showing that a pursuit was in- 
tended. In vain. The dusky Menelaus may have 
put to sea, but he never appeared in view of the 
flying ships. During the two days occupied in the 


Myths and Legends 

run to Molokai the prisoner refused food, and begged 
to be put to death. She was assured that no harm 
was intended to her. On arriving at the fort of 
her captor she was surprised by the appearance of 
women who had been stolen from her villages be- 
fore, and who were now to be her maids ; nor could 
she restrain an exclamation of pleasure when she 
was ushered into what for the next eighteen years 
was to be her home. It was hung and carpeted 
with decorated mats ; its wooden frame was brightly 
painted, festooned with flowers, and friezed with 
shells ; couches of sea-grass were overspread with 
cloth beaten from palm fibre ; heavy curtains hung 
at the doors ; ranged on shelves were ornaments and 
carved calabashes, while there was a profuse array 
of feathered cloaks and other modish millinery and 

All, from Kaupepee to the humblest soldier, had 
paid the respect to her that was the due of a queen. 
She was told that she could enjoy a certain amount 
of liberty, and if she suffered from her slight cap- 
tivity she was asked what might be thought of her 
new lord whose heart she had absolutely in her 
keeping, and who was therefore less free than she. 
This pretty speech and the really kind treatment she 
had received, together with a hearty and needed 
meal of fruit, fish, potatoes, and poi, caused her to 
look on her situation with less of despair. She be- 
longed to a simple race, whose moral code was dif- 
ferent from ours ; she was more luxuriously sur- 


In the Pacific 

rounded than she had ever been before ; Kaupepee 
was bold and handsome ; he was, moreover, strangely 
gentle in her presence, thoughtful of her comfort, 
and — well, she fell out of love with her old hus- 
band and in love with the new. 

Matters were not so very dull while the war lord 
was away on his forays. A considerable populace 
had been drawn to Haupu, and there were dances 
rnd feasts, games, excursions, trials at arms, races, 
and swimming matches, in which Hina shared when 
it pleased her. Reservoirs for water, storehouses 
for food, and parks of ammunition were also to be 
established, for none could tell when the fort might 
be attacked. A long time passed before it was be- 
sieged. That time might never have come had not 
Hina left at home two sons with long memories. 
For years, as they approached manhood, they de- 
voted themselves to rousing the people of all the 
islands and preparing a navy that should be invin- 
cible. Kaupepee kept himself informed of these 
measures, and now and again discouraged them by 
swooping on their shipyards, destroying their craft, 
and running off with a priest or two for a sacrifice. 
This kind of thing merely hastened his punishment, 
and in time ten thousand soldiers in two thousand 
boats were sighted from the battlements of Haupu. 
A land force was sent to attack the stronghold from 
the hills. Kaupepee's brother could not prevent 
this. He was allowed to remain neutral. He fore- 
saw the inevitable. When he implored the chief to 


Myths and Legends 

give up Hina, save himself and his warriors, and 
agree to a future peace, Kaupepee would not listen. 
He had a thousand men, well armed, and his ene- 
mies had an almost life-long hate to gratify. ** If 
my day has come," he said, ** let it be as the gods 
will. When the battle is over, look for me on the 
walls. I shall be there among the dead." The 
king went away with bowed head, for he knew 
he should never see the defender of Molokai 

Early in the morning the fleet put out from its 
harborage, where the gods had been invoked and 
the priests had declared the omens kindly. The 
mother of Hina stood in the prow of one of the 
first canoes, her white hair blowing about her head 
in snaky folds, her black eyes glittering. A fire 
burned before her on an altar of stone, and on this 
she threw oils and gums that yielded a fragrant 
smoke. As the walls of Haupu came in sight, 
bristling with spears, she began a battle-song, which 
her warriors took up, crew by crew, until the 
mighty chant echoed from the crags and every heart 
thrilled with the hope of conflict. As the boats 
advanced almost within reach of the slings from the 
citadel, the land army was seen advancing over 
the mountains far in the distance. Haupu would be 
beleaguered shortly. Kaupepee gathered his people 
around him, told of the odds against them, and con- 
fessed that the end might be defeat, adding that if there 
was one whose heart failed him the gates were open 


In the Pacific 

and he could leave, freely, with the good-will of all 
who stayed. 

Not a man moved. With one cry of " Close the 
gates !" they declared for death, if so be that the 
gods were against them. The chief smiled and pre- 
pared for the defence. Some cried that the shore 
was crowded with enemies. Kaupepee replied, 
in Spartan phrase, " Our spears will be the less 
likely to miss.'* A messenger arrived offering terms 
if Hina were given up. The answer was, " She 
is here. Come and take her." 

The land force had been making a demonstration 
against the narrow bridge of rock that led to the 
fortress, and had succeeded so well, according to a 
prearranged plan, that almost the entire garrison 
had crossed the plateau to that side, when shouts of 
triumph arose from the ravines. The enemy had 
entered them and was smashing the boats of Kau- 
pepee to fragments. That cry of defiance was mis- 
timed. In a few moments a thunderous roar was 
heard that echoed through the abyss and paralyzed 
the hands of those who were attacking the gates. 
The men who had run to the walls, on hearing the 
shouts below, had let loose, into the depths, a deadly 
avalanche of earth, rocks, and timber. When the 
dust of it had drifted out, scores, hundreds, of dead 
and dying were seen half-buried in the fallen mass. 
Armed with spears, knives, and axes, a little com- 
pany sprang over the parapet, and, running down the 
narrow trail to the bottom, despatched the sur- 


Myths and Legends 

vivors, — all save a few who swam to the reserve 
boats, and six who were carried up to the fort for 
sacrifice. One majestic chief, who had led this 
attack from the sea, avoided knives and missiles 
and drew away in safety with the other few who 
escaped. He was one of the sons of Hina. ** He 
is brave ; I am glad he remains unharmed," said 

For several days the siege went on, the men 
within the defences taking heart from this first suc- 
cess, that had cost the enemy two thousand men. 
The sea approach was abandoned, and now that 
Kaupepee's boats were destroyed or injured, so that 
he could not get away, the assailants concentrated 
their efforts on the landward side. They had de- 
vised a movable wall of wood, heavily braced, like 
that used by the Romans and Assyrians in their 
military operations. Foot by foot they gained the 
isthmus and slowly crossed it, those immediately 
behind this defence being protected from the slings 
and javelins of the garrison, — that reached those at 
a greater distance, however. On a rainy night 
they pushed this wall against the gates, found the 
entrance to the tunnel, and at dawn were ready for 
the final assault. It began with a downpour of 
spears and stones, before which it was impossible to 
stand. Then the heavy slab that masked the inner 
door to the tunnel was lifted, and in another minute 
five thousand men were pouring over the walls and 
through the passage. Not one man attempted flight. 


In the Pacific 

Contesting every inch of ground and fighting hand 
to hand, the men of Molokai retired before the in- 
vaders. There was an incessant din of weapons and 
voices. At last, the garrison — the fifty who were 
left of it — and their chief were crowded to the 
temple in the centre of the plain. One of the be- 
sieging party scrambled to the roof and set it afire 
with a torch. The fated fifty rushed forth only to 
hurl themselves against the hedge of weapons about 
them. Kaupepee was transfixed by a spear. With 
his last strength he aimed his javelin at the breast 
of a tall young chief who suddenly appeared before 
him, — aimed, but did not throw ; for he recognized 
in the face of the man before him the features of the 
woman he loved, — Hina. The javelin fell at his 
side and he tumbled upon the earth, never to rise 
again. Every man in Haupu was killed, and its 
walls were levelled. Hina was found in her cot- 
tage, and although she bewailed the death of her 
lover, she rejoiced in her restoration to her mother 
and her sons. 



UPON the slopes of Hualalai, just under the 
clouds and among the fragrant sandal-woods, 
lived Hana and her son, Hiku. They made their 
living by beating bark into cloth, which the woman 
took to the coast to swap for implements, for sea 


Myths and Legends 

food, for sharp shells for scraping the bark, and she 
always went alone, leaving Hiku on the mountain to 
talk to the animals, to paint pictures on the cloth, 
and to play on curious instruments he had made 
from gourds, reeds, and fibre, for he could play 
music that made the birds stop in their flight to lis- 
ten. The mother loved the son so much that she 
wished to keep him by her so long as she lived, and 
that was why she never let him go with her to the 
shore. She believed that if he visited the towns 
and tasted the joys of surf-riding, shared in the 
games of the athletes, and drank the beer they 
brewed down there, and especially if he saw the 
pretty girls, he would never go back to his mountain 
home. And though Hiku wondered what life was 
among the people on the shore, he was obedient and 
not ill content until he had passed his eighteenth 

As he sat one evening with eyes fixed on the far- 
off sea, sparkling under the moon, the wind brought 
the hoarse call of the surf and a faint sound of hula 
drums, and a sudden impulse came upon him to see 
the world for himself. He called to his mother 
that he was going down the mountain. She tried 
with tears and prayers and warnings to stay him, 
but his resolution was taken, and off he went, saying 
that he would be back again some day. Though he 
was as green as grass and untaught in the practices 
of the settlements, Hiku was a fellow of parts. He 
was not long in making a place for himself in soci- 


In the Pacific 

ety, and his first proceeding was to tumble head 
over heels in love. His flame was Kawelu. She 
received him graciously, flung wreaths of flower 
petals about his neck in the pretty fashion of her 
people when he called, as he did every day from 
sunrise until dark ; and when he could row a canoe 
and had learned how to swim and to coast over the 
breakers in her company, he had gained paradise. 

The day came, however, when these pleasures 
palled upon him, when he wondered if his mother 
had kept on sorrowing, when he had a longing to 
see his old home, to breathe the pure, cool air of 
the hills. He was an impulsive fellow, so he kissed 
Kawelu and told her that he must go away for a 
while ; that she could not go with him, because his 
mother would probably dislike her. He had not 
walked a mile before he discovered that Kawelu was 
following secretly. He increased his speed, yet still 
she followed, and presently this persistence on her 
part began to anger him. The one thing he had 
taken from home was a magic staff that would speak 
when questions were put to it, and the youth now 
asked what could be done to turn the girl home- 
ward. It told him to order vines to spring so 
thickly behind him that she could not break through, 
and they so sprang at his command. He could no 
longer see Kawelu when he looked back, though he 
heard her voice calling softly, reproachfully, and 
when he reached home, to the joy of his mother, 
he knew that the girl must have given up the pur- 


Myths and Legends 

suit, as she really had ; for, discouraged by the steep- 
ness of the mountain and the ever-increasing tangle 
of vegetation, she returned to her village. 

This seeming indifference on the part of the young 
mountaineer was more than she could bear. She 
lost interest in sports and w^ork, fell into a love- 
sickness, and though her father, the chief, sacrificed 
many black pigs on her behalf, it was of no use, — 
she died of a broken heart. They wrapped her 
body in the finest cloth, beaten by the widow and 
her son, and placed it, with many lamentations, in a 
burial cave hard by. Such was the dismal news that 
Hana took to her son after she had been to the set- 
tlement to sell a batch of fabric, and it filled Hiku 
with consternation, for he had intended to go back 
for the girl as soon as he could reconcile his mother 
to the idea of a daughter-in-law. He realized what 
a fool and a brute he had been, and it was of little 
use for him to tear out his hair and roll upon the 
ground in the way he did. He left his work and 
wandered among the lava fields, muttering to him- 
self, gesturing wildly, and beating his breast. Finally 
it occurred to him to ask his staff how he could 
amend for his wrong-doing, and was told there was 
but one way : to rescue the girl from the place of the 
dead, in the pit of Milu, on the other side of the 

He lost no time in obeying this oracle, and on 
arriving at the wild and lonely spot he made a swing 
of morning-glory vine, which here grows very long, 


In the Pacific 

and let himself down, having first smeared himself 
with rancid grease to make the shades believe he was 
dead. Thousands of spirits were chasing butterflies 
and lizards in the twilight gloom of the place or 
lying under trees. He despaired of being able to 
discover the spirit of Kawelu. But she had seen 
him ; she hurried to him ; she clasped him in a fond 
embrace ; for she had forgiven his wrong conduct, 
and now she was asking him, sympathetically, how 
he had died. He evaded an answer, but bestowed 
on her a thousand endearments, the while he was 
slowly working his way up the vine, in which he 
affected to be merely swinging; then, just as she 
began to show alarm at having been taken so far 
from her new home, he clapped a cocoanut shell 
over her head and had her safe, a prisoner. 

With the soul enclosed in the shell, he tramped 
back to her home, living on wild fruits and yams on 
the way, and on poi that was offered to him by 
strangers whom he met. The chief received him 
and his news joyfully, but he did not know how 
to restore a soul to a body until his oldest priest 
took the case in hand. Kawelu's corpse was taken 
from the tomb, its shiny wrappings were removed 
and incantations were performed about it. Then 
the priest raised a toe-nail, took the soul from the 
shell and pressed it under the nail, working it up- 
ward with both hands. It passed the ankle and 
knee with difficulty, but was finally pushed into 
place in the heart. Kawelu gasped, opened her 


Myths and Legends 

eyes, sat up, embraced Hiku, and the people cried 
that their princess was alive again. There was a 
great pounding of drums, much singing, dancing, 
and feasting ; every one wore wreaths, and Hiku 
was praised without stint for his love and daring. 
The lovers were married, never to part again. 
Kawelu remembered nothing of what had happened 
to her after she was turned back by the vines on the 
mountain, and did not know that her soul had been 
among the dead. And though he might have taken 
a dozen wives when he succeeded his father-in-law 
as chief, Hiku loved Kawelu so well that he never 
thought of taking even a second helpmate. He 
brought his mother from her solitary hut on the 
mountain, and she and the bride became very fond 
of one another. So all the days of Hiku and Kawelu 
thereafter were days of happiness. 


IN the year 1 170, or thereabout, Kanipahu was 
king of Hawaii. He was of Samoan origin, 
grandson of the builder of that temple whose ruins 
are still to be seen at Puepa in walls over eight hun- 
dred feet around, twenty-six feet high, and eight feet 
thick at the top. It is recorded that the stone for 
this construction was passed from hand to hand by a 
line of men reaching all the way to Niuli, a matter of 
nine miles. Despite the improvements in building 
and other arts that had come in with the Samoans, 


In the Pacific 

the Normans of this Pacific Britain ; despite the cen- 
tralizing of power that enabled them to break down 
the oppressions of petty lords ; despite the satisfac- 
tion of the common people, the aristocracy was 
restive, and sought constantly for excuses to rouse 
their subjects against the new domination. Wikoo- 
koo, head of King Kanipahu's army, having eloped 
with the sister of Kamiole, a disaffected chief, the 
latter burst in upon the king's privacy soon after 
with a demand for vengeance. He had met the 
woman near the king's house and had struck her 
dead, as he supposed, that she might not be "de- 
graded" by bearing children to a plebeian immi- 

The king was a just and patient man, and kept 
his temper, in spite of the visitor's harshness, not 
only to Wikookoo but to all his people. Though 
he could have ordered him to be slain, he yielded to 
his general's demand for permission to fight a duel. 
The pair faced each other at fifty feet, hurled two 
spears without effect, then closed with javelins. Wi- 
kookoo was hurt, and deeming that honor was satis- 
fied the king ordered the fight to cease. Kamiole 
gave no heed to his words. He had a tiger's thirst 
for blood. Like a flash he leaped upon the fallen 
man and pounded the weapon into his heart. This 
rebellion against the king and the savagery of the 
killing caused an outcry of rage and horror. The 
murderer's chance was desperate. *' Face down !'* 
commanded the king. This was the command to 


Myths and Legends 

put the offender to death. A dozen sprang to exe- 
cute the order. Kamiole tugged the javelin out of 
his foeman's body and hurled it at the king. It 
wounded a young man, who had flung himself in 
front of his liege, and in the confusion of the mo- 
ment Kamiole escaped, running like a deer through 
a shower of stones and darts, gaining his boat and 
sailing away for his native state of Kau. 

Blown with pride in his exploit, the rebel set 
about the raising of an army to drive the new people 
from the island. It needed only a leader, like him, to 
urge disaffection into revolt, and not many weeks 
after nearly all Hawaii was on the march against the 
king. Deserted by thousands of his followers, and 
being a man of peace, albeit having no lack of cour- 
age, the king withdrew to the island of Molokai and 
became a simple farmer among a strange people. 
He was nearly seven feet in height, — a common 
stature among men of the first families in that day, — 
and the neighbors marked him ; but he stooped his 
shoulders and worked hard ; so, ere long, his ap- 
pearance was not accounted strange. Kamiole was 
now the first man in Hawaii. He was not a re- 
former. Consumed with pride, arrogant, brutal, 
brooking no opposition, he made enemies day by 
day. Only because the people had had enough of 
war did they endure in silence, and hope for an ill- 
ness or an accident to remove the now hateful 

Unknown to Kamiole, the sister he had struck 

In the Pacific 

down survived his assault, and bore a daughter to 
the late Wikookoo, a pretty maid, who, in good time, 
married the son of the exiled king, a quiet, dreamy 
youth, who lived apart from his fellows in the inte- 
rior of Hawaii, finding his company and his employ 
in the woods and on the vast mountain slopes. 
Eighteen years had passed when this prince was 
rudely waked from his idyllic life. An old priest, 
who alone knew the hiding-places of the king and 
his son, had tried to rouse the former to reassert his 
rule. The king welcomed him and wished success 
to the movement for the overthrow of Kamiole, but 
he refused command of his old army, — refused to 
return to Hawaii. ** I am old," said he, " and so 
bent that I can no longer look over the heads of my 
people, as becomes a king. I am no longer served 
with dainties ; in the noon heat no servant fans me 
or brings water ; I live in a hut and fare or coarse 
food ; but, old friend, I eat with an appetite, I sleep 
like a tired and honest man ; I have forgotten cere- 
mony and care, and I am happy. Not to be king 
of all these islands, and the islands of our fathers 
likewise, would I return. See how blue the sky is, 
how fresh the trees and grass ! What music in the 
roll of the ocean and in the birds' songs ! What 
sweetness in the flowers !'* 

Wondering at this change in his former master, 
the priest dropped his hands in a gesture of despair. 
** Then our cause is lost," said he. 

** Not so," answered the king. " Go to my son. 
14 209 

Myths and Legends 

Tell him his father wishes him to reign. Untried 
as he is, he has my strength ; he is resolute, he is 
wise, he loves justice. He will head your men of 

The prince was found to be a willing leader. 
The arrogance of Kamiole, the decreasing liberties 
of the people, the thought that the dictator had at- 
tempted the lives of his father and his wife's parents, 
stirred in him resolves of vengeance. The fickle 
masses that eighteen years before had overturned his 
dynasty now gathered under his standard, and battle 
was offered at Anehomaloo. Kamiole had the fewer 
men, but the better position, being defended in front 
by a stone wall five feet high that stretched across 
the plain, and at the back by a gorge too deep and 
steep, as he imagined, for an enemy to cross. The 
fight was fierce and long, and thousands fell on both 
sides. The prince was cautious, however, for he 
was waiting the result of a secret move : an assault 
on the rear of his foe by a large body of spearmen 
who were making a long detour to prevent detection 
of this manoeuvre. Presently he saw the stir and 
shimmer of arms on the hill beyond the chasm, and 
ordering a general charge on Kamiole, kept him so 
occupied for a quarter of an hour that the advance 
from the hill was not observed until the detachment 
had descended the ravine, clambered up again, and 
was now rushing upon the doomed army. Penned 
between two forces, Kamiole's men were beaten to 
the earth, and the battle ended in a massacre. 


In the Pacific 

When the successful movement was made across 
the ravine the prince was astonished to see at the 
head of his troops in the distance a stranger, — a tall, 
weathered, sinewy man with a mass of white beard 
and hair that flowed over his chest and shoulders, — 
"/ho hewed a passage through the battling legion 
with a club that few men could have lifted. After 
the fight this stranger stood long before the fallen 
Kamiole and looked into his fading eyes. As the 
prince hastened to the dying tyrant, his princess fol- 
lowed with a calabash of water ; for in those times 
women accompanied their husbands and brothers to 
the field, waiting at a little distance to dress their 
wounds and supply food and drink. His stature 
had enabled her to keep him in sight, and she was 
now about to offer the drink to him, when Kamiole, 
though he had never before seen his niece, ap- 
peared to recognize her voice, and faintly exclaimed, 
" lola V* 

** My mother's name !" cried the princess, in sur- 
prise. ** Then you must be her brother." Drop- 
ping on her knees at his side, she gave the water to 
Kamiole. The dying man extended his hands to- 
ward her and drew a deep breath, — his last. 

The prince, who had been smiling at this unusual 
mercy to an enemy, now looked up and caught the 
eye of the stranger fixed intently upon him. " By 
whose arm did Kamiole fall ?" he asked. 

** By mine," replied the white-haired man, 

" Are you a god V' asked the prince, a sense of 


Myths and Legends 

awe creeping over him as he noted the strength and 
dignity of this form. 

** I am Kanipahu, — your father." 

And among the heaped dead the two embraced. 
Having seen his son enthroned and peace restored, 
the old king refused all oiFers and persuasions, and 
went back to Molokai to end his days in peace as a 
simple farmer. The prince, whose name was Kala- 
pana, and who was the ancestor of the great Kame- 
hameha, reigned tranquilly and died lamented. 


MORE than two centuries before Columbus 
reached America on its Atlantic side a Japa- 
nese junk visited the western shore. The tradition is 
too vague to specify whether the navigators attempted 
a landing or not, but as their boat was small and 
could not have been provisioned for a voyage of thou- 
sands of miles, it is probable that they took on fresh 
supplies of food and water before they put about 
and started on the homeward journey. They never 
saw Japan again, for their vessel went to wreck on 
Maui, whose king personally rescued five of them, — 
three men and two women. This was the second 
appearance in the Hawaiian islands of" white people 
with shining eyes." When the captain of the junk 
reached the shore he still carried the keen sword of 
steel he had girded on in the expectation of an at- 
tack from savages. There was no attack. He and 


In the Pacific 

his mates were received with kindness, and pro- 
vided with houses, although they shocked the multi- 
tude by their ignorance of the taboo, the men and 
women eating from the same dishes. It was ex- 
plained that their gods were poor, half-enlightened 
civatures, and that it was as well to let them alone 
until they should learn truth and manners. 

In time these castaways took Mauians to husband 
and wife, the captain's sister marrying the king 
himself, but the captain was held in superstitious 
reverence because of his sword. The natives had 
daggers, knives, axes, adzes, hammers, and spears of 
stone, bone, shark teeth, and fire-hardened wood, 
but metals were unknown to them, and this long, 
glittering blade, that cut a javelin stem as the javelin 
would crack a rib, was a daily wonder. It was the 
common belief on that island that whoever wielded 
the weapon would win a victory, though his ene- 
mies should be thousands in number. This belief 
was comforting, but it did not last, for Kalaunui, 
king of Hawaii, undertook in the year 1260 the 
subjugation of the whole group, and although his 
force was defeated with great slaughter on Kauai, he 
had subdued Maui, Oahu, and Molokai, for the time 
being, with his fleet of two thousand well-manned, 
well-armed canoes. 

In the great fight on Maui the Japanese warrior 
fought to the last, but was struck down by a Hawaiian 
captain, one Kaulu, who buried the precious sword on 
the spot where he had taken it, and recovered it by 


Myths and Legends 

starlight. Knowing that the king would demand it 
if it were seen, he gave it in charge of his mother 
Waahia, a seer of such renown and verity that she 
accompanied the army at the request of its leaders. 
The old woman concealed the blade in the hollow 
of a rock. Unhappily for her cause, she had not 
foreseen the result of this campaign, for the expedi- 
tion met its Waterloo on the shores of Kauai, hun- 
dreds of the men being drowned or slain by slings 
and javelins before a landing could be made. King 
Kalaunui was made prisoner, the kings of Maui, 
Oahu, and Molokai, whom he had taken with him as 
hostages for the surrender of their islands when he 
should return, were released, and a remnant of the 
invading force, under lead of Kaulu, returned. The 
queen was filled with wrath at the failure of this ex- 
pedition, and rebuked Kaulu for treachery and cow- 
ardice, — Kaulu, who had stood by his lord to the 
moment of his capture, and who had wrested the 
magic sword from its owner. 

Burning under this charge, he sought his mother 
and asked what he should do to disprove it. She 
replied that he should not only be cleared by the 
king himself, but he should marry the king's daugh- 
ter. The queen began at once to negotiate for the 
release of her husband. That monarch was con- 
fined in a hut, surrounded by a stone wall and 
strongly guarded, but was, nevertheless, treated with 
the respect and distinction worthy of the Napoleon 
that he was. A fleet of canoes with many spears 


In the Pacific 

was offered in exchange ; but, with the spoils of 
battle still in their possession, the victors only smiled 
at this. Next came an oiFer of twenty feather cloaks, 
with stone axes, ivory, and whalebone ; but this, too, 
W93 rejected. A third proposition by the queen was 
that the ruler of Kauai should wed her daughter and 
agree to a perpetual peace. This came to nothing. 
Several attempts were made to renew the war, but 
they fell flat, for the experience had been too bitter 
and the people refused. Three years thus passed, — 
a time sufficient to convince the queen of her polit- 
ical weakness. She had almost resigned hope when 
old Waahia sought an audience at court, and said, 
when she had received permission to break the taboo 
and speak before the councillors, that she, and she 
alone, could rescue the king, but she would not 
undertake this unless the chiefs would promise to 
grant her request, whatever it might be, on their 
lord's return. 

This pledge they gave with the understanding 
that it was not to affect life or sovereignty or posses- 
sions, and the seer left for Kauai, with but a single 
oarsman, in the morning. She arrived while the 
new-year festivities were in progress, and everybody 
was in good-humor. There were music, dancing, 
chanting of poems and traditions, feasting, and much 
swigging of spirits, not to speak of indulgences that 
would have shocked civilization. Unannounced, a 
weird-like, commanding figure, Waahia sought the 
presence of the court. She had come, she said, to 


Myths and Legends 

make a final offer for the release of the royal pris- 
oner : the offer of a sword that flashed like fire, that 
was harder than stone, that broke spears like reeds, 
that gave to its owner supreme fortune and supreme 
command. The fame of the bright knife had gone 
abroad ere this, and an offer had at last been made 
that carried persuasion with it. The liberty of the 
king was promised when it should be brought. But 
first she wished the prisoner's assurance that on his 
return he would give his daughter in marriage to her 
son, since the young people loved each other, and 
the marriage would also remove the disgrace that the 
queen had angrily tried to fix upon Kaulu. 

This was agreed to, and a few days later the old 
woman reappeared at the palace with the splendid 
weapon, — one that would still be splendid, for such 
blades are not made nowadays, — and with general 
rejoicing at the possession of this wonder, the chiefs 
liberated Kalaunui, and he returned to Hawaii, cured 
of ambition for leadership and military glory. His 
daughter was married to Kaulu, captain of the royal 
guard, and kings were their descendants. For many 
years the glittering prize remained with the ruling 
house of Kauai, but its virtue had fled when the 
invincible Kamehameha undertook the conquest of 
the islands and their union under a single king, for 
he succeeded in that enterprise, as Kalaunui had not. 


In the Pacific 


LO-LALE, a prince of Oahu in the fifteenth 
century, took no joy in the sea after the girl 
had heen drowned in it who was betrothed to him. 
Retiring inland, he led a quiet, thoughtful life, to 
the regret of those who had looked to see him show 
some fitness in leadership, for as youth verged to- 
ward middle age he was repeatedly besought to 
marry, that his princely line might be continued. 
Tired of these importunities, and possibly not averse 
to the lightening of his spirit, he consented that a 
wife should be sought for him, and appointed his 
handsome, dashing cousin, Kalamakua, as his agent 
in the choice. The cousin sailed at once for Maui, 
where rumor said a young woman of rare beauty was 
living at the court, whose hand had been sought by a 
dozen chiefs. On arriving near the shore of the 
king's domain the messenger and his rowers were 
startled by the uprising from the waves of a laugh- 
ing, handsome face, and behold ! the woman who 
introduced herself in this unusual fashion was the 
one they sought : Kelea, the king's sister. She had 
been surf-riding on her board, and in the delight of 
swimming had ventured farther from shore than usual. 
The captain of the canoe helped this dusky Venus 
to rise completely from the sea, and as she did not 
wish to return at once, he put his boat at her service 
for the exhilarating and risky sport of coasting the 
breakers ; but putting far out to meet a wave of un- 


Myths and Legends 

common size, they were struck by a squall and blown 
so far that they found it easier to put in for shelter 
near the home of Lo-Lale than to return to Maui. 
The storm, the spray, the chilling gusts, compelled 
Kelea to sit close in the shelter of Kalamakua's sturdy 
form. He levied on the scant draperies of his crew 
for cloth to keep her warm, and all the men dined 
scantily that she might be fed. It is not strange 
that a friendship was born on that voyage between 
the two people who had been so oddly introduced. 
Lo-Lale had never heard of John Alden and Myles 
Standish, principally, no doubt, because they had 
not been born, but it must be allowed in his behalf, 
or in hers, that he had never seen the damsel whom 
he was courting thus by proxy. When he did be- 
hold her he was vastly pleased, and as he appeared 
in all the paraphernalia of his rank and instituted in 
her honor a series of feasts and entertainments unpar- 
alleled in Oahu, the consent of Kelea to a speedy 
marriage was obtained, a courteous notice to that 
effect being sent to her relatives, who had mourned 
for her as lost in the storm. He built a temple and 
adorned it with a statue as a thank-offering for having 
blown so fair a bride to his domain. No prettier com- 
pliment could be paid to a wife, even by a white man. 
For a time Kelea was content. Lo-Lale was a 
kind husband, and he was constantly studying to 
advance her happiness, but he was meditative and 
silent ; he loved the woody solitudes, while she was 
fond of company, babble, sport, and especially of 


In the Pacific 

swimming and surf-riding. Presently it was noticed 
that she laughed less. She did not welcome Lo-Lale 
when he returned from his walks or his communings 
witH Nature on the hills. The voice of the sea was 
calling her, — and the voice of Kalamakua. A sepa- 
ration had to come. It was without any spoken bit- 
terness. The husband wished her well, bestowed 
on her some parting gifts, and sent her to the shore 
in a palanquin borne by four men and attended by a 
guard of three hundred, as became her station. 
Kalamakua was waiting on the beach, — Kalamakua, 
handsome, reckless, ardent. She never returned to 
Maui. Though Lo-Lale resumed his old, still way 
and kept his dignity and countenance before his 
people, his lament, that has been preserved by the 
treasurers of island traditions for more than four 
centuries, discovers a pang in his heart deeper than 
he could or would have voiced when he parted from 
his wife. The English versioii is by King Kalakaua : 

** Farewell, my partner on the lowland plains, 
On the waters of Pohakeo, above Kanehoa, 
On the dark mountain spur of Mauna-una ! 
O, Lihue, she is gone ! 
Sniff the sweet scent of the grass, 
The sweet scent of the wild vines 
That are twisted by Waikoloa, 
By the winds of Waiopua, 
My flower ! 

As if a mote were in my eye. 
The pupil of my eye is troubled. 
Dimness covers my eyes. Woe is me!" 

Myths and Legends 


KAHA was granddaughter of the Wind and the 
Rain, whose home is still among the vapory 
darks that settle in the valley of Manoa, back of 
Honolulu, her remote ancestors being the mountain 
Akaaka and the Cape Nalehuaakaaka. She was of 
such beauty that light played about her when she 
bathed, a rosy light such as the setting sun paints 
on eastern clouds, and an amber glow hovered above 
the roof that sheltered her. From infancy she had 
been betrothed to Kauhi, a young chief whom every 
one supposed to be worthy of her, because his par- 
entage was high, and he could name more grand- 
fathers than he had toes and fingers. He did not 
deserve this esteem, for he was not only cruel and 
jealous, but spoiled, petulant, and thick-headed. His 
qualities were exhibited on his very first meeting 
with his promised bride, for neither had seen the 
other until reaching marriageable age. Two brag- 
garts, who were so ill formed and ugly that their 
boasts of winning ladies' favor would have been 
taken by any one else for lies, declared, in Kauhi's 
hearing, that they were lovers of Kaha, and they 
wore wreaths of flowers which they said she had 
hung over their shoulders. 

Setting his teeth with a vengeful scowl and 
wrenching a stout branch from a tree, the prince 
strode over to the house of his bride-to-be. She re- 


In the Pacific 

ceived him modestly and pleasantly, and her beauty 
struck him into such an amazement that he could 
not at first find words to express the charge he 
wished to make. At last, by turning his back, he 
managed to speak his base and foolish thought. She, 
thinking this a jest, at first made light of it, but 
when he faced her once more, frowning this time, 
like a thunder-cloud, and brandishing the cudgel 
above his head, she was filled with fear and could 
hardly keep her feet. She denied the charge. She 
begged that he would tell the names of her accusers 
that she might prove her innocence. 

** You are fair to see and to hear, but you are as 
fickle as your parents. I will have no such woman 
for a wife," shouted the chief, lashing himself into 
a rage. She extended her arms appealingly. He 
struck her on the temple, and she fell dead. He had 
gone but a mile or so when her voice was heard in 
song behind him, and the fall of her steps on the 
path. To his astonishment, she now appeared bear- 
ing no mark of injury, save that the rough way had 
cut her feet, and again she besought him to say on 
whose charge he had so foully wronged her in his 
thought, and why he wished to kill her. His an- 
swer was another blow, more savage than the first, 
and this time there was no doubt that he left her 
dead. Yet, before he had gone another mile, her 
lamenting song was heard; she came to him, and 
he struck her down again. Five times this monster 
laid the defenceless girl a corpse, and the last time 


Myths and Legends 

he scraped a hole under the tough roots of a 
tree, crowded her body into it, covered it with 
earth, and went on to Waikiki without further in- 

The owl-god had been Kaha's friend. After each 
stroke he had flown to her, rubbed his head against 
the bruised and broken temple, and restored her to 
life. To drag her from under the tangled roots was 
beyond his strength, and he flapped away into the 
depths of the wood, filled with sadness that such 
beauty had been lost to the world. But it was not 
lost. The girl's spirit could not rest under the false 
accusal that had caused her death. All bloody and 
disfigured, her ghost presented itself before Mahana, 
a young warrior of the nearest town, with whom she 
had in life exchanged a kind though casual word 
or two, and understanding, through his own deep 
but unspoken love, the reason for this visitation, 
he hurried after the phantom as it drifted back to 
the tree. The disturbed earth and the splashes of 
blood explained enough. He set to work vigor- 
ously, exhumed the body while it was still warm, 
and holding it close to his breast, with eyes fixed 
on the hurt but lovely face, he carried it to his 

Once more the gods befriended her and restored 
Kaha to life. For many days she was ill and weak, 
and throughout those days it was Mahana's delight 
to serve her, to talk with her, to sit at her side, and 
hold her hand. This life of love and tenderness 


In the Pacific 

was a new and delightful one ; yet she sorrowfully 
declared that she must become the wife of Kauhi, 
because her parents had so intended. The lover 
wa" not content with this. He made a visit to Kauhi, 
and in the course of their talk he mentioned, as 
the merest matter of fact, the visit of the famous 
beauty to his home. Kauhi pooh-poohed this. He 
was sure of the girl's death, Mahana adroitly kept 
the conversation on this theme until Kauhi lost his 
temper, confessed that he had killed Kaha for faith- 
lessness, and swore that the woman whom Mahana 
sheltered was a spirit or an impostor. He would 
wager his life that it was so. The lover took the 
wager. It was agreed that the loser should be 
roasted alive. A number of chiefs, priests, and 
elderly men were assembled, and the girl was brought 
into their presence. It was no spirit that bent the 
grass and fixed on the quailing ruffian that look of 
soft reproach. No impostor could boast such beauty. 
Kauhi tried to exonerate his conduct by repeating 
the falsehoods of the two men who claimed to have 
received her favors. They were dragged before the 
assembly, confronted by the innocent Kaha, made 
confession, and were ordered to the ovens, where 
Kauhi also went to his death, vaunting to the last. 
The lands and fish-ponds of this chief, who had no 
owl-god to resurrect his ashes, were, with general 
acclaim, awarded to Mahana, and as chief he ruled 
happily for many years with the fair Kaha for his 


Myths and Legends 


HAWAII has its " haunts" and " spooks," just 
as do some countries that do not believe in 
such things. One of the spectres troubles a steep 
slope near Lihue, Kauai. An obese and lazy chief 
ordered one of his retainers to carry him to the top 
of the slope on his shoulders. It was a toilsome 
climb, the day was hot, hence it is no wonder that 
just before he gained the summit the man staggered, 
fell, and sent his dignified and indignant lord sprawl- 
ing on the rocks. This was a fatal misstep, for the 
chief ran the poor fellow through with his spear. 
And the ghost possibly laments because it did not 
drop its burden sooner and with more emphasis. 

Another place that the natives avoid is the Sugar 
Loaf on Wailua River, Kauai. Hungry robbers 
broke a taboo and ate some bananas that had been 
consecrated to a local god, Kamalau. Missing the 
fruit, the deity turned himself into the rock known 
as the Sugar Loaf, which is sixty feet high, that he 
might watch his plantation without being identified. 
The thieves noticed the rock, however, could not 
recall that it had been there on the day before, and 
suspecting something kept away. The sister of the 
god, believing him to be lost, leaped into the river 
and became a stone herself. And so, having rid 
themselves of the flesh, these two are free to wander 
in the spirit. 


In the Pacific 

Another deity that is occasionally seen is Kameha- 
meha's large war god, from his temple in Hawaii, 
that even in his lifetime would leave its pedestal and 
thrash among the trees like a lost comet. 

At Honuapo, Hawaii, is the rock Kaverohea, jut- 
ting into the sea, where at night a murdered wife 
calls to her jealous husband, assuring him of her love 
and innocence. The voice is oftenest heard when 
a great disaster is at hand : war, storm, earthquake, 
the death of a chief, or a season of famine. 


LAA, a young man of distinguished family, who 
had gone to Raiatea in his boyhood, returned 
a number of years after to visit his foster-father, 
Moikeha, then chief of Kauai. The boats that 
were sent for him were painted yellow, the royal 
color, and Laa was invested in a feather robe that 
had cost a hundred people a year of labor, and caused 
the killing of at least ten thousand birds, since the 
mamo had but one yellow feather under each wing. 
Hawaiian millinery was, therefore, as cruel a busi- 
ness as it became in America several centuries later. 
When this favorite scion landed his path was strewn 
with flowers, and the feasts in his honor lasted for a 
month. He had agreed to go back to Raiatea, for he 
had been accepted there as heir-apparent, yet it was 
thought a pity that his line should cease in his native 
land ; and while he felt that for state reasons he must 
15 225 

Myths and Legends 

take a Raiatea woman for his queen, — for the people 
there would never consent to his carrying home a 
Hawaiian to help rule over them, — he cheerfully- 
consented to take a temporary wife during his stay 
in Kauai. His house and grounds were, therefore, 
decorated, the nobility was assembled, musicians and 
poets and dancers were engaged, and a great feast 
was ordered, when a hitch arose over the choice of 
a bride. Each of the three leading priests had a 
marriageable daughter of beauty and proud descent. 
How were their claims to be settled ? Easily enough, 
as it fell out. Laa married all three on the same day, 
and before his departure for Raiatea each wife on tne 
same day presented a son to him. From these three 
sons sprang the governing families of Oahu and 


WHEN a child was born to Olopana, a lord of 
Oahu, in the twelfth century, he conceived 
a dislike to it, and freely alleged that his brother was 
its father. Such as dared to speak ill of dignitaries, 
and there were gossips in those days, as in all other, 
chuckled, at safe distance, that if Olopana's suspi- 
cions were correct, the boy should have somewhat 
of his — er — uncle's good looks and pleasant manner, 
whereas he was hairy, ill-favored, and, as his nature 
disclosed itself with increasing years, violent, thiev- 
ish, treacherous ; in short, he was Olopana at his 


In the Pacific 

worst. Every day added to the bad feeling between 
the boy and his father, for when he had grown old 
enough to appreciate the position to which he had 
been born, the youngster repaid the hate of his 
parent, and strove to deserve it. Vain the attempt 
of the mother to make peace between them and 
direct her oiFspring into paths of rectitude. In 
contempt, the chief put the name of Kamapua, or 
hog-child, on the boy, and in some of the older 
myths he actually figures as a half-monster with a 
body like that of a man, but with the head of a 

Kamapua gathered the reckless and incorrigible 
boys of the neighborhood about him, and the band 
became a terror by night, for in the dark they broke 
the taboo and heads as well, stripped trees of their 
fruit, stole swine and fowls, staved in the bottoms of 
canoes, cut trees, and in order to look as bad as he 
felt, the leader cropped his hair and his beard (when 
one came to him) to the shortness of an inch, tat- 
tooed the upper half of his body in black, and wore 
a hog-skin over his shoulders with bristles outward. 
On attaining his majority he left his parents, taking 
with him some of his reprobates, and set up in life as a 
brigand, making his home in lonely defiles of the hills, 
and subsisting almost entirely by pillage. Several 
attempts were made to catch him, and a local legend 
at Hauula has it that when close pressed by an angry 
crowd he turned himself into a monstrous hog, made 
a bridge of himself across a narrow chasm, so that his 


Myths and Legends 

companions could run over on his back, scrambled 
on after them, and so escaped. 

The neighbors endured these goings-on until 
Kamapua had added murder to his other crimes, 
when they resolved that he was no longer a subject 
for public patience. An army was sent against him, 
most of his associates were killed, he was caught, 
and was taken before his father for judgment. Olo- 
pana sternly ordered that he be given as a sacrifice 
to the gods. His mother was in despair at this, for 
though he was a most unworthy fellow, a nuisance, 
a danger, still, he was her son, and she loved him 
better than her life. She bribed the priests, whose 
duty it was to slay him, and they, having smeared 
him with chicken-blood, laid him on the altar. The 
eye that was gouged from the body of a victim, and 
offered to the chief who made the sacrifice, was in 
this case the eye of a pig. Olopana did not even 
pretend to eat this relic, as he should have done, to 
follow custom, but flung it aside and gazed with sat- 
isfaction at the gory features of the man who was 
shamming death. He had turned to leave the temple 
when Kamapua leaped from the altar, picked up the 
bone dagger with which a feint had been made of 
cutting out his eye and stabbed his father repeatedly 
in the back. At the sight of a corpse butchering 
their chief the people fled in panic, the priests, 
awe-struck at the result of their corruption, hid 
themselves, and the murderer, so soon as he was 
sure that Olopana was dead, hurried away, assembled 


In the Pacific 

the forty surviving members of his band, leaped into 
his canoe, and left Oahu forever. 

Ke landed at Kauai, on the clifF of Kipukai, and 
remembering a well of sweet water on its side, he 
sought for it, up and down, and back and forth, for 
he had a raging thirst. Two spirits of the place, 
kdiowing him to be evil, had concealed the spring 
under a mass of shrubbery that he might not pollute 
it ; but he found it, and as he drank he saw their 
figures reflected in the surface, despite their conceal- 
ment in the shadow, and heard their laughter at his 
greed and his uncouthness. That angered him. He 
sprang up, chased them through the wood, caught 
them, and with a swing of his great arms hurled 
them to the hill across the valley, where they became 
stone and are seen to this day. So ill did he behave 
in Kauai, assailing innocent people and destroying 
their taro patches, that they determined to despatch 
him, and in order to have him under their advantage 
it was resolved to fence him in near Hanalei. The 
wall of mountain now existing there is the fence. 
Just before it was finished the prince in charge of 
the work sat to rest in a gap which admits the 
present road. He heard a harsh laugh, and looking 
up saw Kamapua sitting on the top of Hoary Head. 
A running fight ensued, in which the outlaw escaped 
across the mountain, and the prince, hurling his 
spear, but missing his mark, sent the weapon through 
the crest of the peak, making the remarkable win- 
dow that is one of the sights of the island. And 


Myths and Legends 

now, when a cloud rests on this mountain, the 
people say that Kamapua is sitting there. 

Some years before this Pele and her brothers had 
migrated from the far southern islands and had made 
their home in Hawaii, close to the crater of Kilauea, 
— so close that they were believed to be under the 
special protection of the gods; and from that belief 
no doubt grew the later faith that Pele and her fam- 
ily were gods themselves ; that they lived in the cones 
thrust up from the floor of Kilauea by gas and steam 
while it was in a viscid state ; that the music of their 
dances came up in thunder gusts, and that they swam 
the white surges of lava in the hell-pit. 

Having heard of the beauty of this woman, Kama- 
pua resolved to abduct her, and after a visit, in which 
the usual courtesies and hospitalities were observed, 
but which he paid in order to estimate the strength 
of her following, he attacked the outlying huts of 
the village in the night and killed their occupants, 
intending to follow this assault by surrounding 
Pele's house and forcing the surrender of all within ; 
but hearing the outcry in the distance and divining 
its meaning, she and her brothers hastily gathered 
weapons and provisions and fled to a cave in the 
hills three miles away. There was a sufficient 
spring in this place, and the entrance was defended 
by heavy blocks. The fugitives could have endured 
a siege of a week with little likelihood of loss. In 
the morning a dog, following their scent, led Kama- 
pua to this stronghold. An attack costing several 


In the Pacific 

lives on his side, and making no effect on those en- 
trenched within, convinced him that it was useless 
to expect success from this method, so he piled fuel 
against the entrance and set it afire, hoping to suffo- 
cate the defenders to unconsciousness, when he would 
force his way to the interior and rescue Pele. Here 
again he failed, for a strong draft blowing from the 
cave carried the smoke into his own face. Then he 
ordered a hole to be cut in the cavern roof, for this 
appeared to be not more than fifteen or twenty feet 
thick, and being friable was easily worked by the 
stone drills and axes of his men. The workers plied 
their tools industriously, while Kamapua shouted 
threats and defiance through the chinks in the wall 
before the cavern door. 

His taunts were vain. While the sinking of the 
shaft was in progress, a strange new power was 
coming upon Pele. The gods of the earth and air 
had seen this assault and had resolved to take her 
part. The sky became overcast with brown, un- 
wholesome-looking clouds, the ground grew hot and 
parched, vegetation drooped and withered, birds flew 
seaward with cries of distress, and a waiting still- 
ness fell upon the world. Kamapua had cut away 
ten feet of rock, when the voice of Pele was heard 
in long, shrill laughter, dying in far recesses of the 
mountain, as if she were flying through passages of 
immense length. The hills began to shake ; vast 
roarings were heard ; a choking fume of sulphur filled 
the air, dust rolled upward, making a darkness like 


Myths and Legends 

the night ; then, with a crash like the bursting of a 
world, the top of Kilauea was blown toward the 
heavens in an upward shower of rock ; a fierce glow 
colored the ash-clouds that volleyed from the crater, 
and down the valley came pouring a flood of lava, a 
river of white fire, crested with the flame of burn- 
ing forests, as with foam. 

Kamapua and his bandits fled, but again he heard 
the laughter, this time from the crater, which Pele 
had reached from within, and was now mounting, 
free, vaulting through the clouds, revelling in the 
heat and blaze and din, and hurling rocks and thun- 
derbolts at the intruder. At the ocean's edge the 
lava was still close at his heels. Its heat blistered 
his skin. He had no time to reach his boats. With 
his spear he struck a mighty blow on the ground and 
cracked the mountain to its base, so that the ocean 
flowed in, and a fearful fight of fire and sea began. 
Steam shot for miles into the air, with vast geysers 
leaping through it, and the hiss and screech and bel- 
low were appalling. The crater filled with water, so 
that Pele and her brothers had to drink it dry, lest 
the fires should be quenched. When they had done 
this they resumed the attack on Kamapua, emptying 
the mountain of its ash and molten rock, and hurling 
tons of stone after the wretch, who was now strain- 
ing every muscle to force his boat far enough to sea 
to insure his safety. He did not retaliate this time, 
but was glad to make his escape ; for Pele had come 
to her godhood at last. 


In the Pacific 


FIERCEST, though loveliest, of all the gods is 
Pele, she whose home is in Kilauea, greatest 
of the world's volcanoes. When this mountain 
lights the heavens, when lava pours from its miles 
of throat, when stone bombs are hurled at the stars, 
when its ash-clouds darken the sun and moon, when 
there are thunders beneath the earth, and the houses 
shake, then does this spirit of the peak, in robes of 
iire, ride the hot blast and shriek in the joy of de- 
struction, — a Valkyrie of the war of nature. Kana- 
kas try to keep on the good side of this torrid di- 
vinity by secret gifts, either of white chickens or 
of red ohelo berries, and an old man once put into 
a guide's hand the bones of a child that he might 
throw them down the inner crater, — Halemaumau, 
the House of Eternal Burning, whose ruddy lava 
cones are homes of the goddess and her family. 
The dogs sacrificed to Pele, when human victims 
were scant, were nursed at the breasts of slaves, and 
the priests and virgins received as their portion, 
after the killing, the heart and liver. Next to her 
eyes, of piercing brightness, the most striking thing 
in the aspect of this deity is her wealth of hair, 
silky, shining red in the glow, and shaken from her 
head in a cloud-like spread as of flame. When the 
eruption is at an end and a sullen peace follows the 
outbreak, tufts of this hair are found in hollows for 
miles around. Birds gather it for their nests, and 


Myths and Legends 

unfearing visitors collect it for cabinets and mu- 

Science tells us that Pele's hair is a molten glass ; 
threads of pumice : a stony froth. When a mighty 
blast occurs, or when steam escapes through the 
boiling mass, particles of pumice shred oiF in the 
upward flight, or are wire-drawn by winds that rage 
over the earth. These viscid threads cool quickly 
in that chill altitude, and float down again. They 
can be artificially made by passing jets of steam 
through the slag of iron furnaces while it is in a 
melted state, the product, which resembles raw cot- 
ton, being used, in place of asbestos, for the packing 
of boilers, steam-pipes, and the like. To such base 
uses might the goddess' shining locks be put, if she 
tore them out in large enough handfuls during the 
carnival of fire and earthquake ; but they are not 
found in quantities to justify this search by commer- 
cial-minded persons, and conservative Kanakas might 
be alarmed by thought of revenges which Pele would 
visit on them should they misuse her hair as the 
foreign heathen do. 


ALTHOUGH Pele is the most terrible of dei- 
ties, she can be kind. If a village makes 
sacrifices to her she is liable at any hour to continue 
to keep the peace. Otherwise, she loses her temper 
and pours out floods of lava or showers of ashes on 


In the Pacific 

the neglectful people, or dries their springs and 
wastes their farms. Sacrifices of unhappy beings 
were made to her whenever the volcano spirits began 
to growl, the victims being bound and thrown into 
the crater of the threatening mountain. Princess 
Kapiolani was probably the first native to protest 
against these sacrifices, and in 1824, after her con- 
version to Christianity, she gave an instructive ex- 
hibition by defying the taboo of Kilauea, eating the 
berries growing on the sides of the peak, in defiance 
of the priestly order, and throwing rocks contemp- 
tuously into the pit. 

Pele is the Venus of the islands, and is of won- 
drous beauty when she takes a human form, as she 
does, now and again, when she falls in love with 
some Mars or Adonis of the native race, or when 
she intends to engage in coasting down the slippery 
mountain sides, — a sport of which she is fond. As 
always with distinguished company, you must let 
your competitor win, if you fancy that it is Pele in 
disguise who is your rival in a toboggan contest ; for 
a chief of Puna having once suffered himself to dis- 
tance her, she revengefully emptied a sea of lava 
from the nearest crater and forced him to fly the 
region. Many tales of her amours survive. Kame- 
hameha the Great was among her most favored 
lovers. It was to help him to a victory that she 
suffocated a part of the army of his enemy with 
steam and sulphur fumes. 

It fared less happily with the debonnair Prince 

Myths and Legends 

Kaululaau when he attempted force in his wooing. 
He found Pele watching the sarf-riders at Keaahou, 
and was ravished by her loveliness. Her skirt glit- 
tered with crystal, her mantle was colored like a 
rainbow, bracelets of shell circled her wrists and 
ankles, her hair was held in a wreath of flowers. 
His admiration was not returned. She was con- 
temptuous toward him, — one could almost say cold, 
but Pele was seldom that, for when the young chief 
approached, the earth about her was blistering hot 
and he was compelled to dance. With his magic 
spear he dissipated her power for a little and low- 
ered the temperature she had inflamed the very earth 
withal. So soon, however, as she had regained her 
freedom, and had passed beyond the influence of this 
spear, she undertook to avenge herself by opening 
the gates of the mountain and letting loose a deluge 
of lava. Again with his spear-point Kaululaau drew 
lines on the ground, beyond which the deadly tor- 
rent could not pass, and through the hot air, amid 
the rain of ashes and the belching of sulphurous 
steam, he regained his canoe and escaped. 

Only so far back as 1882 this goddess was peti- 
tioned by one of the faithful, and with effect. Mauna 
Loa was in eruption. A river of lava twenty-five 
miles long was creeping down the slope and was 
threatening the town of Hilo. The people raised 
walls and breaks of stone to deflect this stream ; they 
dug pits across its course to check it, but without 
avail. The vast flow of melted rock kept on, light- 


In the Pacific 

ing the skies, charring vegetation at a distance, and 
filling the air with an intolerable heat. Princess 
Ruth, a descendant of Kamehameha, was appealed 
to. She hated the white race, and would have seen 
with little emotion the destruction of all the Euro- 
pean and American intruders in Hilo ; but it was her 
own people who were most in danger, so she an- 
swered, ** I will save the Hilo fish-ponds. Pele will 
hear a Kamehameha." A steamer was obtained for 
her, and with many attendants she sailed from Hon- 
olulu to the threatened point. Climbing the slope 
behind the village, she built an altar close to the ad- 
vancing lava, cast offerings upon the glowing mass, 
and solemnly prayed for the salvation of Hilo. That 
night the lava ceased to flow. It still forms a shining 
bulwark about the menaced town. The princess 
sailed back to Honolulu, and the faithful asked the 
Christians why the pagan divinity alone had answered 
the many prayers. 


WITH gods, as with men, who would speed 
his affairs must keep them in his own hands. 
Pele, the volcano goddess, fell in love with Lohiau, 
a Kauaian prince, and in human guise remained with 
him so long that her sisters were afraid the Kilauea 
fires would go out. The prince took an illness, and 
appeared to die, ere the honeymoon was over, so, 
wrapped in cloth of bark, he was put under guard to 


Myths and Legends 

lie in state. When Pele had gone back alone to her 
mountain home a longing came upon her to feel the 
young man's arms about her once more and hear the 
words of love he had such a pretty talent for telling. 
But, instead of going herself, she sent her sister Hiika 
to rescue his soul and bring it to her. This was a 
mistake, for the sister was not a serious creature. 
Stopping to brave the devils and giant lizards of the 
woods, turning the boards of surf-riders to stone 
for a prank, and scaring a fisherman by causing him 
to pull a human head out of the sea, the sister next 
found a half-released spirit hovering near a dying 
chief. She tied it in a corner of her skirt and 
slapped the skirt against a rock, so the chief finished 
his dying promptly. In Kauai, at last, her search 
was rewarded. She saw the ghost of Lohiau beck- 
oning from a cave, in which it had been imprisoned 
by demons, who fled, hissing, on her approach. She 
broke the bars of moonbeam that confined it, tied it 
in her skirt, carried it to its body, restored the prince 
to life, then led him to Hawaii and with him scaled 
the mountain where Pele was waiting in great dud- 
geon. For Hiika had been gone so long on this 
journey that a wrong construction had been put on 
her delay. Lohiau and Hiika had, indeed, learned 
to esteem each other, but they had not violated the 
trust imposed in them by the goddess. 

Pele was madly jealous, however. She turned 
the prince to stone on the crater brink, — the poor 
fellow was growing used to dying now, — and, dis- 


In the Pacific 

mayed by this act of cruelty, Hiika descended 
through the five spheres to the dark underworld 
where the spirits lived. She hoped that the young 
man's ghost would follow her, for pity in his suffer- 
ings had fast increased to love. As the spirit did 
not come, she returned to the surface of the earth 
and went on a voyage of search in a boat that a god 
had lent to her, — a boat of cowrie shell, which in 
overland travel would shrink so that it could be car- 
ried in the hand ; then, at the word, would swell to 
a stately barge of pearl with ivory masts and sails as 
white as the snow on the mountain. This vessel 
moved with the speed of the wind in any direction 
the occupant indicated by pointing the finger. The 
prince's wandering spirit was found in Kauai, its old 
home ; was taken by a messenger to the stone image 
on the crater, and put back into the body, and the 
prince lived again. Pele was by this time in a soft and 
repentant humor. She asked forgiveness of Lohiau 
and bade him love and wed her sister, who was good, 
and had earned his love. This Lohiau did, where- 
upon Pele restored to life several of Hiika' s friends 
whom, also, in her first anger, she had turned to 
statues of lava. 


WHILE a great storm was raging over Hawaii 
a boy was born to a woman chief in the 
camp of King Alapai. At once the soothsayers 
proclaimed him as the man of prophecy who should 


Myths and Legends 

conquer the eight islands and end their strifes. It 
seemed as if for once — or oftener — the Icahunas 
were wrong, for the babe disappeared that very 
night. There were rumors of foul play ; rumors 
that Alapai had killed him, that he might not stand 
in the way of his own progeny, for this barbarian 
Macbeth would have no Banquo to intercept his line 
or wrest the crown from him. It was five years 
before the fate of the child was known. He was 
not dead : Naole, a chief, had kidnapped him that 
the prophecy might come to pass. When the king 
heard of this he commanded that the boy be placed 
at court, where he might learn manners and the 
laws, and be kept under the eyes of the great ; but, 
doubting his master's motive, Naole did not send the 
child ; he sent another of the same age, who was to 
cut no figure in the history of the islands, not being 
the favored of the gods. 

The real prince was kept in so secluded a place 
and the secret of his parentage so well preserved — 
it was prophecy that he should be fathered of three 
kings — that he had reached the age of twenty before 
Naole deemed it safe to let him mingle with the 
multitude. He then made it known that the young 
man was Kamehameha. By this time King Alapai 
was dead, or helpless with age ; but the prince, 
albeit liberal and just, was rough, strong, dictatorial, 
a natural military leader, and he did not lack ene- 
mies. Worst among these was his uncle, Pepehi, 
an elderly chief, who had read omens in the entrails 


In the Pacific 

of sacrifice warning him to be discreet and guarded 
in his life or it would be taken from him by one re- 
lated to him, and of greater power. He could not 
brook the thought of Kamehameha's ascendency, for 
he was a man used to deference, a man of weight 
and dignity, while this new-found prince was a boor. 
He therefore made himself unpleasant by criticisms 
and carpings, by false interpretations of signs, by 
implications against his nephew, and finding that the 
young man did not retaliate, he resolved to have his 

Pretending anger with Kamehameha because he 
would not study for the priesthood and succeed to 
his honors, the soothsayer dinned a tirade into his 
ears in the temple ground, hoping to receive a blow, 
that he might stab, in return, for he wished the kill- 
ing to appear as if done in self-defence. Stung by 
his insolence, Kamehameha did knock him down : a 
good, stout blow, well won. So soon as he had 
recovered his wits and got upon his feet the priest 
plucked out his long bone knife and made a stroke, 
but the priestess of the temple, her eyes blazing with 
anger at this trespass, caught his wrist and cried, 
** Down to your knees! Ask pardon of your future 
king and mercy of the gods." 

At that instant came a rush of wings and a blaze 
of light filling the temple space. All fell to the 
earth, for they had recognized the tall form before 
them with the coronet of vari-colored sparks bound 
on the golden hair that swept around it like a cloud 

j6 241 

Myths and Legends 

of glory, and the robe of tissue that was like flame 
of silver whiteness. It was the volcano goddess. 

'* Peace !" she commanded. '* This boy is in the 
charge of Pele. Let no hand be lifted against him. 
No knife, no art, no poison, and no spell shall shorten 
his life. He will be your greatest king : your best. 
He will put an end to these wretched wars between 
your families, and prepare for the day when a pale 
race will come to these lands, making them a step in 
their conquering march around the world. As for 
you, Pepehi, speak another word against those I 
love, lift a hand against them, and I turn you to a 
cinder. Aloha !" She had vanished like flame. 
Kamehameha, on this revelation of his destiny, 
sprang to his feet. His breath was quick and strong, 
a smile was on his lips, and he looked into the dis- 
tance with lifted face and flashing eye, as if a glo- 
rious vision had arisen there. A touch on his foot 
brought him to himself, Pepehi was grovelling be- 
fore him, baring his breast and offering to Kameha- 
meha the poisoned dagger he had but a few moments 
before aimed at the young king's heart. Lifting 
him from the ground, Kamehameha comforted the 
priest with a few words and sent him homeward 
with bowed head and dragging step. 


In the Pacific 


HUA, the licentious king of Maui, — who kept 
a hundred hula dancers, was drunk for days 
together on awa, and spared no wife or daughter of 
a friend or subject if she took his fancy, — had been 
chafing under the restraints imposed or attempted by 
his high priest, a blameless man whose age and long 
service should have gained even a king's considera- 
tion. It was approaching a new-year feast (the end 
of December), toward the close of the twelfth cen- 
tury, and Hua had made such levies on his people 
for useless wars and wasteful orgies that the old man 
was moved to protest. Hua paid no attention to him, 
but loudly ordered his hunters to go to the moun- 
tains and bring him some water-birds for his table. 

" Those birds can be found only by the sea," 
ventured the priest. 

" You countermand my orders, do you ?" roared 
the monarch. 

" I gave no order," protested the venerable man. 

** Hark you," insisted the king. " My men are 
going to the mountain. If they find the birds there 
— and they will — you shall be slain as a rebel and a 
false prophet." 

Seeing that his master desired his death, the priest 
bowed and made no answer. He went to his sons, 
who were studying for the priesthood, prevailed on 
them to fly to Mount Haleakala, and probably hoped 
to follow them, but being slow and lame with years, 


Myths and Legends 

the hunters had returned before he could escape. 
They bore their prey, the water-birds, and said they 
had found them inland. Knowing this to be a lie, 
told by the king's command, the priest said, " These 
birds came from the sea. You can smell it upon 
them. Look." And he cut open two or three of 
their bodies. ** Here are little fish and bits of sea- 
weed they have eaten within the hour." 

Enraged at the discovery of his paltry subterfuge, 
the king caught up a spear and thrust it into the old 
man's heart. Though everything is permitted to a 
king, the people could not repress a groan of horror, 
and one by one they stole away from the spot, fear- 
ful of what might follow this sacrilege. Well might 
they fear. The body of the priest had barely reached 
the wooden cross that marked the temple-ground as 
sacred when its bearers dropped it upon the earth 
and fled, for a sudden fever smote the ground ; hot, 
stifling winds began to blow ; the images of the gods 
wailed and moaned ; the sky was red and dripped 
blood, and the altar that was to have received the 
body sank through the rock, leaving a hole from 
which gushed steam and dust. At that hour every 
well, brook, and spring in the island went dry, save 
a rill in a cave back of Hana that the gods devoted 
to the daughter-in-law of the murdered priest and to 
the old woman who attended her, while a nightly 
dew fell thereafter about the sons of the dead man, 
providing drink to them and encouraging a growth 
of fruit and taro sufficient for their needs. 


In the Pacific 

In a day or two the people were desperate. Their 
crops were withering, the forests shedding their 
leaves. Some men killed their neighbors and drank 
their blood ; others drank from the ocean and their 
increased thirst drove them mad ; a few took poison ; 
several offered themselves as sacrifices and were forth- 
with killed on the altars ; but in vain. Prayer and 
offering were unheeded. The wickedness of the 
people in submitting to a king like Hua had brought 
its punishment. Frightened, repentant, maybe, Hua 
himself fled to Hawaii, and his retainers scattered 
themselves in Molokai, Oahu, and Kauai. They 
could not escape the curse. Like the Wandering 
Jew, they carried disaster with them. Blight, drouth, 
thirst, and famine appeared wherever they set foot, 
and though the wicked king kept himself alive for 
three and a half years, he succumbed to hunger and 
thirst at last, and in Kohala his withered frame 
ceased to be animate. To this day " the rattle of 
Hua's bones in the sun" afford a simile in common 
speech. And the wrath of the gods was heavy, so 
that the people died by thousands. 

Hua being dead, the survivors looked anxiously 
for a return of rain and of life to the islands, and 
many turned to Naula, of Oahu, imploring him to 
intercede with the gods in their behalf. This priest 
was of great age, and was reverenced and feared. 
He could command the spirits of the living, as well 
as the spirits of the dead, and talk with them, far 
from the place where their bodies lay in trance. He 


Myths and Legends 

had descended into hell, had risen to paradise, and 
had brought back from the region of the blessed a 
calabash of the water of life. The animals knew 
and obeyed him so well that when he journeyed to 
Kauai and his canoe capsized, a whale swallowed him 
and vomited him forth on the beach at the very spot 
where he had intended to land, while at another 
time two sharks towed his vessel against a head wind 
with such speed that the sea fowl could hardly keep 
him in sight. Clearing his eye by a fast and prayer, 
he climbed to the topmost height of the Waianae 
Mountains and closely scanned the horizon. The 
earth was as brick, and the sky as brass, and the sea 
as silver, save in one quarter : a tiny blur on the uni- 
versal glare could be seen, he fancied, over Maui. 
He would wait, in order to be sure. Yes, in the 
morning the vapor was still there. 

" The sons of the murdered priest are in Maui. I 
will go to them," he said, and descending to the shore 
he entered his canoe alone, with neither oar nor sail, 
yet in the dawn he was at Maui, and the cloud was 
now plainly seen waving about the great peak of 
Hanaula. From their eyrie on the mountain the 
two young men had seen the approach of Naula, for 
his boat shone in the dark with a moon-like radiance. 
They knew that it bore some message for them, and 
when the old man arrived at Makena landing they 
were there to meet him. His white beard swept 
the earth as he bowed, and they bent low while 
waiting for him to speak. " You are the sons of 


In the Pacific 

the most worthy priest who was slain by Hua,** he 
said. ** That evil man has expiated his crime, and 
his bones lie unburied in the light. The people 
suffer and die. The punishment for Hua's crime 
has been severe and long. Let us join our prayers 
to the gods that they may turn to mercy. I am 

The elder of the sons replied, " Great priest, we 
will gladly pray with you for our people, but first 
tell me of my wife. Is she alive ?" 

The old man wrapped his head in his cloak and 
put against his forehead an amulet of stone. After 
some moments of silence he flung off the covering 
and spoke, *' She lives, and is well. The gods have 
cared for her in the valley back of Hana." 

This announcement carried joy to the heart of 
the questioner, and he began at once the erection of 
an altar, the aged priest sprinkling it with blessed 
water and placing beside it the phallic symbol of the 
trinity. The invocation was over, but no living 
creature appeared in the desert to serve as a sacrifice, 
A rustling was heard among the dead bushes and 
the snout of a black hog was thrust out. Before it 
could escape they had seized the creature, with a 
cry of joy, lifted it to the altar, stabbed it again and 
again, and its blood flowed over the stones. Then 
all bent about it and prayed with fervor. As they 
prayed their shadows grew fainter, and the hot wind 
lulled. A low rumble was heard in the south. 
They looked up. The heavens were darkening. 


Myths and Legends 

The rain was coming. " Praise the gods, who are 
merciful and who receive oar sacrifice !" the priests 
cried. And with that immolation the days of suf- 
fering were over. 


WAIPIO, in Hawaii, is claimed by people who 
live thereabout to be the loveliest valley 
on the island. It was a low and marshy stretch 
until a great fish that lived there begged the god 
Kane to give him sweeter water and more of it. 
Kane therefore tumbled rocks across the stream, so 
as to dam it into wide pools, and also opened new 
springs at the source. The marks of his great hands 
are still seen on the stone. In this valley, now so 
peaceful and so rich in charm, lived Kiha, king of 
Hawaii, in the earlier years of the fifteenth century, 
a great and dreaded monarch. Of all his possessions 
he valued none more highly than his war-trumpet, a 
large shell adorned with the teeth of chiefs who had 
been killed in war. The roar of this instrument 
could be heard for ten miles, for it was a magic 
shell, and when blown in battle it reproduced the 
cries of victory and shrieks of the dying ; when 
blown to summon the people it was like the gale in 
the forest, and when it called a sea-god to listen to 
a prayer it was like surges thundering against the 

That day was long remembered when the horn 

In the Pacific 

was stolen. It had been taken from its wrapping 
and its box, and a hideous mask of stone had been 
found in its place. Search availed nothing, and the 
only comfort that the priests could offer was a prom- 
ise of restoration by a being without cloak or hands, 
when a cocoa palm, to be planted by the king at the 
next full moon, should bear fruit. The tree was 
planted, but seven years passed before the nuts ap- 
peared. These were eaten by the king, and on that 
very night a strange man was arrested on a charge 
of thieving and taken before the king for sentence. 
All through the questioning a dog with one white 
eye and a green one kept close beside the prisoner, 
appearing to understand every word that was spoken. 
The intelligence of this animal was so remarkable as 
to divert all thought of punishment for the time, and 
when the robber had given instances of the creature's 
more than human cleverness, Kiha realized suddenly 
that this was the agency whereby the magic horn 
was to be restored to him. 

If the dog could find and restore that shell the 
captive should not merely be set free, but should be 
fed at the royal table for the rest of his life. On 
hearing this promise, the dog, who had been watch- 
ing the king so fixedly out of his green eye as to 
make his Majesty uncomfortable, sprang up with a 
joyous bark, and capered about with every token of 
enthusiasm for the task that was to be put upon 

At the time when the trumpet disappeared from 

Myths and Legends 

Kiha*s house a band of mountebanks and thieves dis- 
appeared from Hawaii. They had camped in the 
woods above Waipio, and had been stealing pigs, 
fowls, fruit, and taro from the farmers, and had occa- 
sionally visited the settlements to show their skill in 
juggling and hanky-panky, hoping to earn as a re- 
ward some drinks of the native beer, and perhaps a 
weapon or a strip of cloth. It was the chief of this 
band who had stolen the trumpet. He had learned 
its history, — how the god Lono had blown it on the 
top of Mauna Kea until trees were uprooted in the 
blast that came from it, until the fires kindled in the 
crater below and threw a red light against the stars, 
until the earth shook and the sea heaved like a mon- 
ster sighing. It had the voice of a god from that 
hour, and other gods obeyed it. The band fled to 
Oaha with the prize and there led a graceless life 
until the populace drove them out, and they returned 
to Hawaii. 

The arrival of these suspicious characters had 
been reported to the king, and he suggested that the 
dog seek the shell in their camp at the head of the 
valley. No sooner was the suggestion made than 
the animal rushed away in that direction with the 
speed of the wind. Some hours passed, and the 
night was wearing on wearily, when a tremendous 
burst of sound issued from the hills, echoing far and 
wide. The king leaped to his feet, the men of his 
village roused and grasped their spears, for this was 
the call to arms, — the first time they had heard it in 


In the Pacific 

seven years. But who was blowing it ? Nearer 
and nearer came the sky-shaking peal, and presently 
the dog, bearing the magic shell in his mouth, ran 
in, sank at his master's feet, gasped, shook, stiffened. 
He was dead from exhaustion. 

His master, overcome with grief for the loss of 
his little friend, was liberated at once ; then, confi- 
dent that the returned thieves had had the trumpet 
in their possession, the king led his forces against 
them without waiting for the sun to rise, and slew 
nearly all. From one or two survivors of the band 
he learned that their captain had offended them by 
his arrogance and selfishness until they were forced 
to reduce him to their own state by silencing the 
instrument whereby he called to the gods and gained 
their help. During one of his drunken sprees they 
carried the shell to a wizard, who put a secret taboo 
mark on its lip, and when the pirate blew it, on re- 
gaining his wits, it made only a low, dull moaning. 
Try as he would, he could never restore it. It was 
chiefly to propitiate the gods and give its notes back 
to the trumpet that he had returned to Hawaii. 

When the dog seized the shell, as it lay on the earth 
near the sleeping chief, he bit off the edge that had 
been marked by the wizard and instantly its voice 
came back. The wind blown into it long before 
by the robber chief was now liberated in quantities 
in those tremendous blasts that had roused the king 
and his people and appalled the robbers. In this 
respect it resembled the post-horn of Baron Mun- 


Myths and Legends 

chausen's story, which, on being hung before a fire, 
allowed the notes that had been played into it (but 
not heard) to thaw out and entertain the company. 
And if the story of the shell is doubted, one has 
only to look at it in the Honolulu Museum to be 


PUNA, lord of Kauai, was a well-beloved and 
merciful man. Though he would not brook 
insolence, he was always ready to pardon a fisher- 
man or servant who, in ignorance of his personality, 
broke the taboo by stepping on his shadow. His 
love for Hooipo, his daughter, was so strong that he 
delayed her marriage until the gallants began to com- 
plain, and the girl herself became uneasy, lest her 
charms should expand to a maturity that might hurt 
her matrimonial chances. As she had no preference, 
however, she agreed that her father might name the 
happy man. He, loth to incur the enmity of any at 
his court, resolved to offer her as a prize, and the 
fairest contest seemed in his mind to be a run to 
Kaula and back, each contestant to be allowed to use 
sail and carry four oarsmen, and the winner of the 
race to marry Hooipo. 

A couple of days before the race was undertaken 
there arrived at Kauai a sturdy mariner, one Moi- 
keha, who had just returned from a voyage to Rai- 
atea, two thousand five hundred miles to the south- 
ward. Long trips of this sort were not unusual 


In the Pacific 

among the adventurous islanders, and there is a tra- 
dition that one of them brought to Hawaii two 
white men who became priests, and on a later ex- 
ploration secured four " foreigners of large stature, 
bright, staring, roguish eyes, and reddish faces," who 
may have been American Indians. Moikeha became 
the guest of Puna. He had not been long in the 
daughter's company before Hooipo regretted the 
arrangement for a race, for she had found a man 
whom she could love. It was too late to argue with 
the candidates ; there could be no hope of peace if 
the princess were withdrawn as an object of compe- 
tition and thrown at the head of this stranger. By 
general consent he was allowed to take part in the 
race, provided he could cite an honorable parentage. 
This he did, for he was the son of a former chief 
in Oahu, and he rattled oiF the names of his ances- 
tors for sixteen generations, ending the catalogue in 
this fashion, ** Maweke and Niolaukea, husband and 
wife ; Mulilealii and Wehelani, husband and wife ; 
Moikeha and Hooipo, husband and wife." This 
little joke, his assumption that the girl was already 
his, made everybody laugh and put the company in 
good humor. 

At the word of command a score or more of lusty 
fellows pushed their boats through the surf, hoisted 
sail, and pointed their prows for Kaula, fifty miles 
away. Moikeha alone showed no haste. He bade 
a cheerful farewell to his host and the pretty daugh- 
ter, marked with delight her serious look as he took 


Myths and Legends 

his leave, then, with a single attendant and the small- 
est boat in the fleet, he set off across the blue water. 
Directly that her sail was up the little craft sprang 
through the sea as if blown by a hurricane, while 
the other boats slid over the glassy waves under the 
push of oars. " It is the fish-god, Apukohai, who 
drags his canoe," declared the rowers, as he passed. 
In twenty-four hours he was at the side of Kooipo 
with the whale-tooth, proof of his voyage, that was 
delivered to him at Kaula by a servant who had been 
sent there with it in advance. He was easily the 
victor, the other contestants arriving from one to 
three days later. No objection being offered, the 
couple were married with rejoicings, and on the 
death of Puna the husband became chief, and mar- 
ried off eight or ten youngsters of his own. Not for 
a long time was it known that in the race for a wife 
his lone but potent companion was Laamaomao, the 
wind-god, who, loosing favorable breezes from his 
magic calabash, that blew whither he listed, carried 
him swiftly past all other competitors. 


PAAO, who afterward became a high priest in 
Hawaii, migrated thither in the eleventh cen- 
tury from Samoa, after a quarrel with his brother, 
Lonopele. Both of these men were wizards, and 
were persons of riches and influence. It came about 
that Lonopele had missed a quantity of his choicest 


In the Pacific 

fruit, which was conveyed away at night, and al- 
though he could see visions and tell fortunes for 
others, he could not reveal for his own satisfaction 
so simple a matter as the source of these disappear- 
ances. In a foolish rage he accused his nephew, the 
son of Paao. Paao was indignant, but, with even 
greater foolishness, he killed his son, in order to 
open the boy's stomach and prove that there was no 
fruit in it. This act so rankled in his mind that he 
decided to leave the country and forget it, and to 
that end he built several strong canoes and stored 
them well with food and water. 

Before sailing, Paao revenged himself for his own 
folly by killing a son of Lonopele. The latter dis- 
covered the murder too late to retaliate with weapons, 
so he summoned the powers of magic to his aid. He 
sent a hurricane in chase of the receding boats, but 
a great fish pushed them on, despite the wind, which 
was against them, while another friendly monster of 
the sea swam around and around the little fleet, break- 
ing the force of the waves. Lonopele then sent a 
colossal bird to vomit over the canoes and sink them, 
but mats were put up in tent-form as protections, and 
this project also failed. 

Paao landed in Hawaii with about forty followers, 
one of whom was a powerful prophet. As the canoes 
were setting off, several would-be wizards begged to 
be taken to the new land. Paao called to them to 
leap into the sea, if they trusted their own powers, 
and he would take them on board. All who jumped 


Myths and Legends 

were killed by striking on rocks or by drowning, — 
all but the real prophet, who did not leave the shore 
till the boats were a mile or so away from land. 
Paao answered his thunderous hail by an equally 
thunderous refusal to return, as to go back after 
starting was bad luck, but added, ** There is room 
for you, if you will fly to us," Putting all his 
strength into his arms and legs, the prophet swam 
through the air and reached the boats without in- 

The real Paao is said to have been a Spanish 
priest who was cast away on the islands by the wreck 
of the galleon Santo lago in 1527. The ship 
was bound from Acapulco to Manila with shrines 
and images. The priest grafted Christian practices 
on the native religion, abolished sacrifice, and begat 
a line of chiefs. 


IN 1530, or thereabout, a Spanish ship from Mo- 
lucca was driven across the Pacific and flung, 
in a dismantled condition, on the Keei Reefs, Ha- 
waii. Only the captain and his sister were rescued. 
Until it was discovered that these strangers required 
food and sleep, like themselves, the natives wor- 
shipped them as gods. They were hardly less wel- 
come when it was found that they were human, and 
they married among the islanders. The woman's 
grandchild, Kaikilani, was reputed to be the most 


In the Pacific 

beautiful woman ever born in Hawaii. Kaikilani 
became the wife of the heir-apparent, who cared so 
little for government, however, that the young wo- 
man was made chief. Her marriage to this easy- 
going, ambitionless, though generous prince had been 
a failure. As it was a state marriage, she cared little 
for him. His stalwart brother, Lono, was the object 
of her love and admiration. When the people 
resolved that Lono should be king, Kaikilani was 
divorced and given to him as queen, for her first 
husband prized her happiness above his own. Lono 
built a yacht worthy of this Cleopatra, a double 
canoe eighty feet long and seven wide, floored and 
enclosed for twenty feet amidships, so that the queen 
had an apartment which was luxuriously furnished 
with couches, cloths, festoons of flowers, shells, and 
feathers, and containing a sacred image and many 
charms against evil. The twin vessels were striped 
with black and yellow, figures of big birds with 
men's heads were at the prow, and on calm days, 
when the sails hung idly, forty oarsmen pulled the 
royal barge at a gallant rate. 

During a long honeymoon tour the bridal party 
landed on Molokai, to await the passing of heavy 
weather, and the young couple were playing draughts 
to beguile the time, when a dark and sudden cloud 
fell upon their happiness. One of the servants of 
the queen was a girl named Kaikinani, who had a 
lover, and while the king was studying his next move 
he heard a man's voice call, as he thought, " Come, 
17 257 

Myths and Legends 

Kaikilani, your lover is waiting." The man was 
calling Kaikinani. He abruptly asked his wife who 
had dared to address the queen in that easy fashion, 
and taking her own surprise and confusion for a 
token of guilt, he struck her with the checker-board, 
rushed away to the beach, ordered his private canoe 
to be launched, and seizing one of the paddles, he 
rowed with his twenty attendants until he was ex- 
hausted. That night he gained the shores of Oahu. 
When Kaikilani had come out of a delirium of 
nine days, and understood the nature of the mistake 
that had separated her from her husband, she hastily 
equipped her barge and began a search for him, — a 
search that lasted for months. Lono, ensconced at 
the court of Oahu, was trying to stifle his regrets; 
he would not reveal his name ; he refused all com- 
panionship with women ; he worked at play most 
earnestly, hunting, rowing, swimming, surf-riding, 
racing, leaping, casting the spear, halting at nothing 
that involved peril or that would tire him at night 
to a forgetful sleep. His stay was drawing to an 
end. He was to sail for Hawaii in a day or two, 
for rebellions were threatening in his absence, and 
his departure was none too early, for certain of the 
gallants were jealous of his success in sports and of 
the unrewarded admiration that the fair sex gave to 
him. One of these men taunted him with being a 
nameless chief. Lono, scowling down on him, an- 
swered that he would tear the skin from his living 
body if he ever caught him beyond his king's pro- 



In the Pacific 

tection, and producing a big calabash filled with 
rebels' bones, he chanted the names of those he had 

He was interrupted by a soft voice, outside of the 
enclosure, chanting his name-song. Who could have 
learned his name ? The court had risen. " Yes," 
he said, ** the singer is true. I am Lono, and she 
whom I hear is my wife. The gods be praised.'* 

Leaping the wall, he found, as he had hoped, 
Kaikilani, smiling through her tears. He held her 
in a long embrace. Next day they returned to 
their native island, where they reigned to an old and 
happy age. 


KAULULAAU, prince of Maui, had misbe- 
haved so grossly, painting the sacred pigs, 
imitating the death-bird's call before the doors of 
nervous people, opening the gates of fish-ponds, 
tippling awa, and consorting with hula dancers, that 
his father, believing him to be incorrigible, shipped 
him off to Lanai in disgust. Knowing that island 
to be infested with gnomes, dragons, and monsters, 
the lad would fain have turned the usual new leaf, 
but he had promised reform so many times and failed 
that his father was deaf to his pleadings. Just before 
he embarked the old high priest called him aside — 
he always had a soft spot in his heart for this scape- 
grace — and entrusted to him an ivory spear which 
had been dipped in the river of the dead and left on 


Myths and Legends 

an altar by Lono, the third person of the trinity. 
With that, which was both weapon and talisman, 
the possessor need fear nothing. 

Kaululaau had been but a little while in his new 
home when he was compelled to put his gift to use. 
There were malignant beings on Lanai who hurt 
people, hogs, fowls ; blighted cocoanuts, bananas, 
and taro patches, and were a common sorrow to the 
inhabitants. Worst among these tormentors was 
the gnome Mooaleo, who, in the guise of a big mole, 
burrowed under houses and caused them to settle, 
with a thump. The prince caught this fellow within 
a circle he had drawn on the earth, for the witchery 
of the spear was so strong that the effect of drawing 
that line was felt to the centre of the globe. Bur- 
row as he would, — and he did burrow until he 
reached fire, — Mooaleo could not escape from it. 
The magic barrier confined him like iron. He came 
to the air at last and begged to be released, promis- 
ing to leave the island forever, if he might gain his 
liberty. Kaululaau rubbed out twenty or thirty 
yards of the enchanted line, whereupon the creature 
rushed madly through the gap and dived into the sea, 
never again emerging in the sight of men. 

For a year the prince kept up his war against the 
demons and slew or banished every one of them. 
For this the men rewarded him with praise and gifts 
and service, the women with love, the children with 
trust. He was glad he had been exiled. Of course, 
so soon as his father heard of his changed life and 


In the Pacific 

his courage in knight-errantry he repented his hard- 
ness of spirit and sent messengers to bid Kaululaau 
return. This was an unwelcome summons, and while 
he dared not refuse, he took his own time in getting 
home again, his alleged reason for delay being that he 
wished to see the world and further instruct himself; 
his real reason being a love of praise and adventure. 
He stirred up strife in Hawaii ; visited, without harm, 
the wind-god's home on Molokai and Kalipahoa's 
poison grove, and on Oahu found another chance to 
win the people's favor. A bird so huge that its 
head weighed near two hundred pounds had been 
depredating among the villages, tearing children 
from their mothers and killing domestic animals, yet 
always defended by the priests, who, having con- 
fused it with a strange species of owl, considered it 
as sacred. The rover did not ask permission to slay 
it. Nobody knew him, or guessed why he was 
going among the hills. He came upon the bird in 
the mountains, when its beak was dripping with 
human blood, and at a mile distance hurled the 
spear, which flew through the air, as if self-directed, 
and pierced the creature through and through. For 
this he was arrested and consigned to the sacrificial 
altar ; but when he abandoned his disguise, appeared 
in the feather cloak and helmet of a chief, and made 
known that he was Kaululaau, the trembling, stam- 
mering priest owned that he was mistaken in sup- 
posing the bird to be taboo. Its huge head was 
produced ; its eyes rolled, its jaws clashed, and with 


Myths and Legends 

a scream an evil human spirit that had lived in its 
body flew into the air. The ne'er-do-weel had a 
royal reception when he returned. Finding that his 
old friend, the high priest, was dead, he fulfilled a 
promise by secretly burying the magic spear-point 
in his grave. 


TO the native Hawaiian, who shuns work, 
dresses only for decorative purposes, and is 
willing to subsist on fruits that grow without teas- 
ing, life is not so simple as we should suppose, to 
look at him. Nature abhors a vacuum, even in a 
man's head, and when the man cares to put nothing 
in his noddle that will increase his understanding 
and resource, his ancestry will have planted some- 
thing there which is sure to swell and grow until it 
may dominate his conduct and his fate. And if you 
open the head of an average barbarian you will find 
a flourishing crop of superstition fungi inside. So 
surely as he is a barbarian he will believe in witches. 
If he contents himself with imagining wizards and 
spooks, he may find recreation enough in the dark, 
but when he accuses other people of practising 
against him, and gets them hanged or roasted, his 
imagination has become too frisky to be at large. 
Death for the practice of witchcraft is no longer 
possible, however, unless it results from private 


In the Pacific 

To this day fear and ignorance paint gnomes and 
elves in the palm groves and among the wild lava up- 
lands of the mid-Pacific, and Honolulu itself is not 
free from the lingering and traditionary kahuna. This 
is the wizard, or medicine man, or voodoo worker, 
who does by prayer and spell what his employers 
would do with a club if it were not for the awkward 
institution of the law. When a Kanaka has endured 
an injury he hires a kahuna to pray his enemy to 
death. This imposes on the victim the necessity of 
hiring a kahuna to pray down the other one, or of 
running away, if he cannot afford the expense. The 
wizard calls on his intended victim and tells him 
what is about to happen, and you would naturally 
suppose that the visitee would take the visitor by the 
collar and the "bosom of his pants" and persuade 
him away from the premises, even if he did not go 
out and exercise upon him in the yard. In fact, 
record has been made of explosive exits of these 
wizards from Americans* houses when they made 
their usual courtesy call before praying the resident 
out of existence, and 'tis said that they bore marks 
of Lynn-made shoe-soles on their seats of honor for 
a week after. 

But your Kanaka fears his medicine man and re- 
ceives the news of doom politely. The kahuna 
tells him that his conduct has displeased some god 
or goddess and that he must die. Every kahuna 
claims what statesmen call a ** pull" with his deities 
that enables him to have his prayers answered, while 


Myths and Legends 

opposition kahunas are snubbed. After a couple of 
days the kahuna drops around to see how his victim 
is getting on, and generally he finds him in low 
spirits, with a meagre appetite, because this process 
is as reliable as its opposite, which is called faith- 
cure. If a man can sufficiently persuade himself 
that nothing ails him, he is almost sure to recover 
from an illness that he hasn't got ; and, by the same 
token, if he makes himself believe that he is going 
to have indigestion, or a fall on the ice, or must die, 
he unnerves himself and makes it easy for the ex- 
pected to happen. If he runs away and hides, the 
kahuna's prayers do not work as well, and if he has 
been to school and reads the papers, they do not 
work at all. Indeed, the islanders have given up white 
people as tough subjects, so seasoned in whisky and 
a wrong religion that curses are wasted on them as 
water is wasted on ducks and Kentucky colonels. 
The goddess Pele has resigned the foreigner in dis- 

Well, on this second visit the victim remembers 
all his misfortunes of the past two days, his stomach 
ache, his thirst, his stubbed toe, his failure to collect 
eight cents that a neighbor owes him, his nightmare 
after a supper of poi, — not mince-pie : just poi, — 
his discovery of a bottle too late to know what was 
in it, and his wife's demand for a new dress. All 
these miseries he ascribes to the left-handed prayers 
of which he is the subject, and he offers to tem- 
porize. As in other parts of the world, silver is a 


In the Pacific 

strong dissuader. If he has hired a kahuna himself 
to neutralize his enemy's bad prayers with good 
ones, the two voodo workers will retire and consult 
as to a settlement, each preserving a dignity and 
courtesy worthy of his high profession, for, although 
the Roman soothsayers could not keep from snicker- 
ing when they met one another in the street, these 
kahunas really believe in themselves, for they have 
prayed too many people out of the world not to 
do so. 

If an apology and a couple of dollars fail to soften 
the enemy, or if the kahunas believe they can raise 
the stake to three dollars by toiling a while longer, a 
prayer duel follows and the best man wins. Kahuna 
number one delivers a veritable anathema, bestowing 
on his subject more aches and illnesses and deformi- 
ties and difficulties than Pius IX. conferred on Vic- 
tor Emmanuel, while number two sweats with the 
haste and force of his invocations for the continued 
or increased health and fortune of his client. If he 
can afford them, the victim may hire two kahunas 
and have them pray around the house until the oppo- 
sition is silenced or the malevolent employer's money 
gives out. When one of the two prays for his 
patron, in such a case the other may pray against the 
enemy who began the trouble, so that, instead of 
doing a deadly injury, the instigator of the disturb- 
ance may discover, to his alarm, that he is in more 
danger than his foe, and some morning he may find 
himself dead. 


Myths and Legends 

King David Kalakaua made a law against praying 
folks into their graves, but the kahunas, to a man, 
cried, ** Why, this will kill business ! If you don't 
abolish that law we will pray you to death in two 
days." And King David took the law away, quick. 
In order to make a prayer for death effectual the 
kahuna must possess himself of some object closely 
associated with the person he intends to kill. Fin- 
ger-nails, hair, and teeth are especially desired, but 
if they cannot be had, a few drops of saliva will do. 
The kings were always so careful of their precious 
selves that nail-parings and hair-croppings were 
burned to keep them from falling into the hands of 
ghoulish kahunas, and they were always attended by 
a spittoon-bearer, who was a chief of high rank, and 
whose duty it was to see that none of the royal spittle 
was accessible to wizards or suspicious strangers. 
The spittoon was emptied into the sea at a distance 
from land secretly and in the middle of the night. 
What a lecture Charles Dickens would have read to 
the Americans out of this circumstance ! 

The last death attributed to the kahunas was that 
of Princess Kaiulani in the spring of 1899. Though 
this young woman was enlightened, had travelled 
and studied in Europe and America, and presumably 
disbelieved in the superstitions of her ancestors, it is 
whispered that the rumor of kahuna influence against 
her shortened her days by many. The people be- 
lieved so, at any rate, though they were perplexed 
by the failure of the little red fish to run into the 


In the Pacific 

harbor just before she breathed her last, as it was be- 
lieved that they always made their appearance prior 
to a death in the royal family. The rumbling and 
hissing and the sounding of a heavy major chord in 
the depths of Kilauea that followed the funeral of 
Kaiulani were directly attributed to her death. 


DESPITE the denials of Hawaiians that their 
ancestors ever ate the flesh of men, it is ad- 
mitted that a large company of cannibals, strong, 
dark, tattooed, and speaking a strange language, were 
storm-blown to Kauai in the seventeenth century. 
It is guessed that they were Papuans. The daughter 
of Kokoa, their chief, a beautiful girl of eighteen or 
so, with braided hair that almost touched the ground, 
and strings of pearls at her neck and ankles, found 
an admirer and a husband in an island chief who tried 
to instruct her in the taboo, for he had seen with 
horror and apprehension that the new-comers al- 
lowed their women to eat bananas, cocoanuts, and 
certain fish, and even to take them from the dishes 
used by the men. The bride promised to reform 
and live on poi, but she had not been bred to this 
sort of victual, and had never been reproved by the 
gods for eating other, so it was almost inevitable that 
she should backslide in her virtuous intention, and 
when she so far defied public opinion, and thunders, 
and earthquakes as to eat a banana in view of the 


Myths and Legends 

priests, the public arose as one man and demanded 
punishment. The chief begged that he might be 
allowed to send her back to her father, but the high 
priest told him that the gods had been flouted beyond 
endurance, and would be satisfied only with her 
death. The beautiful and hapless woman was there- 
fore torn from the arms of her afflicted husband, 
strangled, and thrown into the sea, — a warning to 
all the sex against forbidden fruit. 

Then trouble began. Women's appetites might 
be restrained, but not those of men, — especially the 
appetite for blood. Kokoa revenged himself for his 
daughter's murder by killing a relative of her hus- 
band and serving him hot to an eager, because long 
abstemious, congregation. The taste of Hawaiian 
chops and shoulders revived a greed for this sort of 
meat, and they preyed openly on the populace of 
Kauai until those who remained arose as several men 
and drove them out of the island. The cannibals 
fled in haste to Oahu, taking possession of the plateau 
of Halemanu, which was high, reachable by only 
one or two paths, and those of steepness, difficulty, 
and under constant guard, and here they established 
themselves as a sort of Doone band, literally living 
upon the people in the country below. They had 
their temple, — oh, yes, indeed, they could pray as 
long and as loud as any one, — and a creditable piece 
of masonry it was, with its walls two hundred feet by 
sixty, and seven yards high. Near it was an oven 
where five human bodies could be roasted at a time, 


In the Pacific 

and a carving stone six feet long, lightly hollowed, 
where the hungry were served, Kokoa claiming the 
hearts and livers as a chief's right. 

It did not take long for the Oahuans to become 
bashful about visiting the neighborhood of Hale- 
manu, and the man-eaters then took to eating one 
another. One big, savage fellow, named Lotu, began 
to kill off his wife's relatives. This roused one of 
her brothers to revenge. He strengthened himself 
in exercises of all kinds until his muscles were like 
steel, and encountered with Lotu on the edge of the 
precipice near the principal path. They fought 
hand-to-hand until both were covered with blood, 
then, finding that he was about to be forced over the 
brink, Lotu clasped his brother-in-law and enemy 
about the neck and both went to their death together. 
The wife and sister of the two combatants either 
fainted at the verge and fell or wilfully cast herself 
from the same cliff. It is not recorded whether these 
victims of an unruly passion were interred in earth 
or conveniently disposed of otherwise, but the affair 
created such a gloom in the neighborhood that the 
cannibal colony moved away to parts unknown, to 
the vast relief of the community in the more peace- 
ful districts. 


Myths and Legends 


WHEN the Hawaiians were discovered by 
Captain Cook, in 1779, they had not been 
visited by white men, so far as any native then living 
could remember. At all events, they had acquired 
only a fair assortment of vices and not many diseases. 
Human sacrifice and the worship of phallic emblems 
and effigies of their gods and dead kings were com- 
mon. The king expected everybody to fall pros- 
trate before him when he appeared and pretend to 
go to sleep, — to be of as little account as possible. 
And the people were pliant and willing under their 
restraints. They allowed that the king was absolute 
master. Yet they were contented usually and not 
ill looking ; lithe and graceful, too, and gay, fond 
of sports and swimming, lovers of music, dancing, 
flowers, and color, friendly in disposition, and good- 
natured. Except in shedding a few of their beliefs 
with the taking on of more clothes, they have not 
changed greatly. As to cannibalism, white men have 
become too numerous and too tough for eating, any- 
way, and they feel safe in any native company of 
Pacific Islanders in these times. 

Hawaiians claim that they never were cannibals, 
and that if they ate such of Captain Cook as they 
did not return to his second in command it was be- 
cause they were absent-minded or mistook him for 
pork. They had ceased to believe him a god, for 
he had displayed infirmities of temper and consid- 


In the Pacific 

eration that led to his death. A tradition of theirs 
may account for a once general belief in their man- 
eating propensities. It dates back to the chieftaincy 
of Kaulii, in Oahu. The people were careful in 
the sepulture of their chiefs, fearing that enemies 
might find the remains and commit indignities on 
the senseless relics, or that the bones might be used 
for spear-points and fish-hooks, such implements 
having magic power when they were whittled from 
the shins of kings. To prevent such a possibility, 
so soon as the spirit tenant had gone the wise men 
took charge of the body and prepared it for the 
grave. This they did by first cutting off the flesh, 
which, being transitory and corruptible, they said 
was not worthy to be kept, so was therefore burned ; 
then cleaning the skeleton, soaking it in oil, and 
painting it red with turmeric. This melancholy, if 
gaudy, object was tied in a parcel and buried in some 
cave or cranny where no foeman would be likely to 
find it. Sometimes the bodies were sunk at sea, with 
rocks tied at the feet, and the hearts of Hawaiian kings 
were often flung into the molten lava of Kilauea. 

Kaulii was chief in Oahu in the seventeenth cen- 
tury. Most of his ninety years he had faithfully 
devoted to killing other chiefs and the people of 
other islands, wherefore he knew that many would 
try to find his bones and break them. Just before 
his death he enjoined his councillors to place his 
skeleton in some receptacle whence it could not 
easily be taken. After his death his head councillor 


Myths and Legends 

took it into the mountains and was gone for several 
days. When he returned he sent an invitation to 
every one whom his messengers could reach to share 
in a feast in memory of the dead chief. Free lunch 
was just as great an incentive in that century as it 
will be in the next. They came, those faithful 
people, afoot and in boats, and camped in thousands 
near the kitchen. After the games had been duti- 
fully performed — for funerals were seasons of cheer 
in those times — the dinner was served to the assem- 
bly. There were boiled dogs, roots, fruits, fish, 
sour beer, and poi. 

When the last calabash had been emptied and the 
company had taken a long breath, an elder in the 
party asked the councillor if he had obeyed his 
master's command and buried the skeleton where it 
would be safe from the vendetta that pursues an 
enemy to the grave. The councillor made an em- 
bracing gesture above the multitude. " Here," he 
cried, '* are the graves of Kaulii. His bones can 
never be disturbed again." 

The people looked about the grass and under 
their dishes, and, seeing nothing, asked to be en- 
lightened. Then the councillor explained that he 
had not only cleaned the bones of his dead lord, but 
had dried and pounded them to a fine meal, had 
stirred them into the mass of poi which these war- 
riors and statesmen had enveloped, so that every 
man who had shared in that feast was a grave. And 
they agreed that he was a faithful and sagacious ser- 


In the Pacific 

vant, and passed a resolution to keep his memory a 
bright green for several years after he was dead. 
They say that was the only time they ate a man, and 
they did not know it then. 


WHEN King Liloa died he left his younger 
son, Hakau, to rule Hawaii in his place, 
but an older and natural son, Umi, whose mother 
had been a farm-worker among the hills, he ap- 
pointed as guardian of the temples and their sacred 
statues. Umi had not learned of his royal parentage 
until he had grown to be a fine stout fellow. He 
had lived a lonely though adventurous life, and his 
kingly origin was shown in the fact that he could 
never be induced to work or do anything useful, 
unless it might be hunting and fishing. Impulses 
were his guides. He was in nowise disturbed when 
he learned that Liloa was his father. On the con- 
trary, he took on a new dignity, donned the feather 
cloak and helmet of a prince, walked, in a couple 
of days, to the king's house, passed the guards with- 
out a word, carelessly striking down their threaten- 
ing spears with his own ; then, gaining the king's 
presence unannounced, he plumped himself into the 
old gentleman's lap. For one of low descent to 
venture on a liberty like this was death, and for a 
moment Liloa was mightily offended. He sprang 
up, spilling the prince upon the earth ; then, recog- 
18 273 

Myths and Legends 

nizing on the young man's breast an ivory necklace 
clasp that had been his love-token to the girl on the 
mountain farm years before, and admiring the cour- 
age of the youngster, he kissed him and welcomed 
him to his family. 

The old king died soon after, his skeleton being 
duly hidden in the sea, and Hakau, who from the 
first had been jealous of his half-brother, now began 
a series of slights and rebukes which hardly justified 
rebellion, yet were so irritating that after enduring 
them for a little, Umi retired to the hills and re- 
sumed his old, lonely, wandering life. Not for long, 
however. Hakau developed into a tyrant, narrow- 
minded, selfish, suspicious, cruel. One by one his 
followers left him ; treasons were rumored in his 
own household ; his very priests connived against 
him. At last, reports came to him of a resort to 
arms, — of a company advancing from the other side 
of Hawaii, led by Umi and Maukaleoleo, the latter 
a giant eleven feet high, who wore a thicket of hair 
that fell to his shoulders, bore a spear thirty feet 
long, and inspired terror by his very aspect, albeit 
in times of peace he was one of the gentlest of men. 
When this giant was a child the god Kanaloa had 
given him a golden fish, bidding him eat it and be 
strong. He had done so, and on that very night 
began his wonderful growth, his strength so increas- 
ing that presently he could hurl rocks no two other 
men could lift. 

Troubled by reports of the uprising, the king 


In the Pacific 

consulted the oracles in a temple he had promised 
to endow, but never had, — his principal gift (to be) 
— consisting of a figure of the war god Akuapaao. 
This had long before been taken to Hawaii by a 
prophet whose canoe had been drawn to its landing- 
place by the shark god and the god of the winds. 
In darkness he entered the inner chamber of the 
temple. An unknown voice, speaking from the holy 
of holies, bade him send his people to the woods 
next day for plumage of birds, with which to deco- 
rate the statue, when he should get it, and thereby 
atone for the neglect and contempt of the gods that 
had done so much to bring him into disfavor with 
the people. 

Clever priests ! They were already in league with 
Umi, and this was but a ruse to dissipate the king's 
forces. The oracle was obeyed ; the people were 
sent out to collect the feathers of bright-hued birds, 
grumbling that they should be made to labor because 
of the laxity and impiety of their ruler ; and while 
they hunted, Umi, almost within hearing, was pray- 
ing before the very statue Hakau had sent his mes- 
sengers to fetch. He had imposed a strict taboo on 
his two thousand warriors for half a day, the taboo 
in this instance imposing silence, fasting, and retire- 
ment, the forsaking of all industries, the extinction 
of all fires and lights, the muzzling of pigs and dogs, 
and quieting of fowls by putting them under cala- 
bashes. As Umi advanced toward the statue to 
decorate it with wreaths a beam of light fell through 


M}ths and Legends 

a rent in the temple roof and crowned him and the 
god. It was a promise. Fires on the mountain 
tops that night assembled all the insurgent forces, 
who were awaiting these signals, and a few hours 
later Umi sat on the throne of his father, and the 
hated t\-rant Hakau was offered to his neglected 
gods : a sacrifice. 


KEAULUMOKU died in 1784. He was a 
poet, dreamer, prophet, and preserver of the 
legends of his people. For more than three-score 
years he had roamed about Hawaii, esteemed for his 
virtues and his wisdom by those who knew him, 
tolerated as harmless by those who did not. He 
wandered about the vast and desolate lava fields and 
talked with spirits there. He learned rhythm and 
music from the swing of the waves. The " little 
people" in the wood were his servants when he 
needed help. In his closing years he occupied a 
cabin alone near Kauhola. Though not churlish, 
he cared little for human society, — it seemed sd 
small to him after daily contemplation of the ocean 
and mountain majesties and the nightly vision of the 
stars ; but he was alive to its interests, and when the 
future opened to him he was always willing to read 
it for comfort or warning. 

It was reported in the villages at last that he would 
look on the faces of his people but once more, and 


In the Pacific 

they were asked to assemble at his hut on the next 
evening, when he would chant his last prophecy. 
Before sunset they gathered about his cabin a thou- 
sand or more, waiting quietly or talking in whispers, 
and presently the mat which hung in the entrance 
was drawn aside, disclosing the shrunken form and 
frosted hair of the venerable prophet. He began 
his chant in the quavering voice of age, but as he 
sang he gained strength, and his tones were plainly 
heard by all in the assemblage. He foretold the 
union of the islands under Kamehameha, the death 
of monarchy, the ruin of the temples, the oncoming 
of the white race, the disappearance of the Hawai- 
ian people from the earth. Then blessing the com- 
pany with uplifted hands, Keaulumoku sank back 
lifeless. He was buried with solemn rites in a 
temple, and, under the inspiration of his prophecy, 
Kamehameha began his work of conquest. In eleven 
years the islands were one nation. The rest of the 
prophecy is coming true. 


MANY caves pierce the igneous rock of the 
Hawaiian group, some with entrances below 
the ocean level, and discovered only by accident. 
Famous among them is the spouting cave of Lanai. 
Old myths make this a haunt of the lizard god, but 
the shark god, thinking this venture below the water 
an intrusion on his territory, threatened to block the 


Myths and Legends 

entrance with rocks, so the lizard god swam over to 
Molokai and made his home in the cave near Kaula- 
pana, where the people built temples to him. An 
attempt of a daring explorer to light the cave of 
Lanai with fire hid in a closed calabash was also re- 
sented, the vessel being dashed out of the hand of 
the adventurer by some formless creature of the dark, 
who also plucked stones from the cave roof and 
hurled at him until he retreated. 

To this island, at the end of the eighteenth cen- 
tury> came King Kamehameha to rest after his war 
and enjoy the fish dinners for which the island was 
famous. One of his captains was Kaili, a coura- 
geous and susceptible Hawaiian, who celebrated the 
outing by falling head-over-heels in love. Kaala, 
" the perfumed flower of Lanai,'* returned his vows, 
and would have taken him for a husband, without 
ceremony or delay, save for the stern parent, who is 
a frequent figure in such romances. This parent, 
Oponui, had a reason for his hate of Kaili, the two 
having encountered in the last great battle. Kaili 
had probably forgotten his opponent, but Oponui 
bitterly remembered him, for his best friend had 
been struck down by the spear of the young captain. 
Another cause for opposing this marriage was that 
Kaala had been bespoken by a great, hairy, tattooed 
savage known as *' the bone-breaker." It occurred 
to Oponui that a good way to be rid of the cavalier 
would be to let him settle his claim with the famous 
wrestler. He chuckled as he thought of the out- 


In the Pacific 

come, for the bone-breaker had never been beaten. 
The challenge having been made and accepted, the 
king and his stafF agreed to watch the contest. It 
was brief, brutal, and decisive. Though the big 
wrestler had the more strength, Kaili had the more 
skill and quickness. He dodged every rush of his 
burly opponent, tripped him, broke both his arms 
by jumping on them when he was down, and when 
the disabled but vengeful fighter, with dangling 
hands, made a bull-like charge with lowered head, 
the captain sprang aside, caught him by the hair, 
strained him suddenly backward across his knee, and 
flung him to the earth, dying with a broken spine. 
Kaili had won his bride. 

The girl's father was not at the end of his re- 
sources, however. He appeared in a day or two 
panting, as with a long run, and begged Kaala to fly 
at once to her mother in the valley, as she was mor- 
tally ill and wished to see her daughter before she 
died. The girl kissed her lover, promising to re- 
turn soon, and was hurried away by Oponui toward 
the Spouting Cave. Arrived there, she looked up 
and down the shore, but saw none other than her 
father, who was smiling into her face with a look of 
craft and cruelty that turned her sick at heart. In a 
broken voice she asked his purpose. Was her mother 
dead ? Had he killed her ^ Oponui seized her arms 
with the gripe of a giant. " The man you love is 
my foe," he shouted. " I shall kill him, if I can. 
If not, he shall never sec you again. When he has 


Myths and Legends 

left Lanai, either for Hawaii or for the land of souls, 
I will bring yoa back to the sun. Come!" 

Now, the water pushing through the entrance to 
this cavern becomes a whirlpool ; then, as it belches 
forth in a refluent wave, it is hurled into a white 
column. Watching until the water began to whirl 
and suck, Oponui sprang from the rocks, dragging 
his daughter with him. She struggled for a moment, 
believing that his intention was to drown her. There 
was a rush and a roar ; then, buffeted, breathless, she 
arose on the tide, and in a few seconds felt a beach 
beneath her feet. Oponui dragged her out of reach 
of the wave, and as soon as her eyes grew accus- 
tomed to the dimness she found herself to be in a 
large, chill cavern. Crabs were clattering over the 
stones, and rays and eels could be seen writhing 
shadowy, in pools. The brawling of the ocean 
came smothered, faint, but portentous, and in the 
green light that mounted through the submerged 
door the grotto seemed a place of dreams, — a dank 

" Here you stay until I come," commanded Opo- 
nui. ** Make no attempt to escape, for so surely as 
you do, you will be cut to pieces on the rocks, and 
the sharks await outside." Then, diving into the re- 
ceding water, he disappeared, and she was left alone. 

Kaili awaited with impatience the return of his 
betrothed. He chided himself that he had allowed 
her father to persuade him against following her to 
the cabin of her mother. Then doubt began to per- 


In the Pacific 

plex him ; then suspicion. A bird croaked signifi- 
cantly as it flew above his head. He could not 
longer endure inaction. Kaala's footprints were still 
traceable in the sand. He would go as far as they 
might lead. He set off at a round pace, stopping 
now and then to assure himself, and presently stood 
perplexed near the Spouting Cave, for there they 
ceased. As he was looking about for some clew 
that might set him right once more, a faint move- 
ment behind him caused him to turn, and he saw a 
figure slinking along from rock to rock, bending low, 
as if seeking to be concealed : Oponui ! Why should 
he be alone? Why should he hide like that? Why 
was he trying to escape ? The truth flashed upon 
him. He remembered the man's face in battle, re- 
membered their vain though savage interchange of 
spears. Oponui had taken Kaala from him. Had 
he killed her ? He sprang toward the creeping figure 
with a shout, " Where is my wife ?" 

There was a short struggle ; then Oponui, wrig- 
gling from his grasp, set off at a surprising pace to- 
ward a temple of refuge, with Kaili close at his 
heels. The chase was vain. Oponui reached the 
gate, rushed through, and fell on the earth exhausted. 
Two priests ran forward and offered their taboo 
staffs against the entrance of his pursuer. The gods 
could not be braved by breaking the taboo. With a 
taunt and a curse at his enemy, the captain returned 
to the shore where the footprints had disappeared. 
His heart-beats stifled him. His head was whirling. 


M\ths and Le emends 

As he stood looking down into the boiling waters 
it seemed to his wandering fancy as if the girl had 
risen toward him in the spout from the cave. Hardly 
knowing what he did, he spoke her name and leaped 
from the rock to clasp her pale form. He was drawn 
under, and in a few seconds was flung violently upon 
the beach in the cave. 

Kaili's leap had been seen by his king, who, 
with a guide, had gone to seek him, and on learning 
of this grotto the king and the guide plunged after. 
They found the lover seated on the pebbles in the 
green twilight, with Kaala's head upon his lap, his 
arms about her. She was dying, but a smile of con- 
tent was on her face. He tried to restore her, to 
rouse her to an effort to live. It was of no avail. 
With a whispered word of love she closed her eyes 
and ceased to breathe. 

King Kamehameha advanced, his rude face soft- 
ened with pity. " Come, ELaili," he said. ** The 
poor child was happy in her last hour. This cave 
is her proper burial-place." 

" I cannot leave her, O king, for without her I can- 
not live.'* Before his purpose could be divined, Kaili 
had seized a rock and brought it down on his own 
head with crushing force. He swayed for a moment 
and fell dead beside the body of his bride. The 
king had the corpses wrapped in cloth, but left them 
there, and the few who have ventured through the 
whirlpool have seen in the cave the skeletons of the 


In the Pacific 

The lament of Ua has been preserved. She was 
a girl whose secret love for the captain had impelled 
her to follow him, and who had seen his plunge into 
the leaping water. It runs in this fashion : 

** Dead is Kaili, the young chief of Hawaii, 
The chief of few years and many battles. 
His limbs were strong and his heart was gentle. 
His face was like the sun. He was without fear. 
Dead is the slayer of the Bone-Breaker ; 
Dead the chief who crushed the bones of Mailou ; 
Dead the lover of Kaala and the loved of Ua. 
For his love he plunged into the deep water. 
For his love he gave his life. Who is like Kaili ? 
Kaala is hid and I am lonely. 

Kaili is dead, and the black cloth is over my heart. 
Now let the gods take the life of Ua !'' 


JUST off the southwest shore of Lanai is a block 
of lava eighty or ninety feet high, vertical or 
overhanging on every side, absolutely without 
foothold. Yet at its top one may see from the neigh- 
boring shore a grave with a low wall built about it. 
This is the resting-place of Pupehe, the wife of one to 
whom was given the name of Misty Eyes, because the 
woman's eyes so dazzled his own. These two loved 
so well that they were all in all to one another. 
They chose to live apart from their people, roaming 
the woods, climbing the hills, surf-riding, fishing, 
berrying as the whim took them. 


Myths and Legends 

Lest some chief should look on her face and envy 
him. Misty Eyes hid his companion in a little hut 
among the trees, as secret and secure as a bird's nest, 
and sometimes they would go together to a cave, 
opening from the sea, opposite Pupehe's Rock, to 
catch and cook a sea-turtle. 

The season of storms was at hand, but as the day 
had broken fair, Pupehe went to the cave to prepare 
a meal, while her husband took the calabashes to fill 
at a spring up the valley. A mist had come up from 
nowhere when he turned to go back ; the wind was 
rising to a gale, the sea was whitening. His heart 
went into his throat, for he recalled how the break- 
ers thundered in at the cave and swept the strip of 
beach inside. Flinging down the calabashes, he ran 
with all his speed. Immense waves were sweeping 
the cavern from end to end. Their thunder deaf- 
ened him. Out of an acre of seething white a brown 
arm lifted. He leaped in, seized Pupehe, and suc- 
ceeded in gaining the shore, but to no avail. She 
was dead. After the storm had passed he paddled 
to the lonely rock ; was raised, with his burden, by 
a pitying god, and on the summit, where none might 
stand even beside the grave of her whom in life he 
had guarded so jealously, he buried the cold form. 
When the last stone had been placed on the wall. 
Misty Eyes sang a dirge for his wife and leaped into 
the sea. 


In the Pacific 


IN Koolauloa, Oahu, is a natural well, of un- 
known depth and thirty yards in diameter, that 
is believed to be connected with the ocean. Bodies 
drowned in this crater are said to have been found 
afterward floating in the sea. This pond, known as 
Waiapuka, hides the entrance to a cave that can be 
reached only by diving, and in that cave was con- 
cealed during her infancy Laieikawai, Lady of the 
Twilight. Her father, enraged that his wife always 
presented female children to him, swore he would 
kill all such offspring until a male issue should ap- 
pear, and Laieikawai was therefore kept out of his 
sight and in retirement until she had grown to 
womanhood. Her beauty attracted even the gods, 
and chiefs from many islands travelled far to see her 
face when she had been taken from the cavern by 
her grandmother and bestovved more fittingly in a 
house thatched with parrot feathers and guarded by 
the lizard god. Her bed was bird-wings, the birds 
were her companions, she wore a robe tinted like a 
rainbow, and wherever she went a fragment of rain- 
bow hung over her and might be seen afar. 

Laieikawai married a sun prince, and the same 
rainbow served as a ladder to take her to his new 
home in the moon, his place in the sun being too 
hot and glaring for endurance. This was a fickle 
prince, for having seen another pretty face on earth, 
he descended, and it was a year ere he appeared in 


Myths and Legends 

the moon again. The young wife meanwhile had 
gone to the bowl of knowledge, a wooden vessel 
enclosed in wicker, decorated with feathers and with 
birds carved in wood along the rim. Looking in 
and uttering the command, " Laukapalili !" a vision 
of her recreant husband appeared. The father and 
mother of the prince were joint witnesses with the 
wife of his faithlessness. As the picture vanished 
the air grew dark ; faint, grisly shapes arose, and wail- 
ing voices sounded, " Heaven has fallen !" Standing 
on the rainbow bridge, the father, mother, and wife 
cast off their love for the prince, and condemned 
him to be a wandering ghost, living on butterflies. 
Then, having tired of heaven, the Lady of the Twi- 
light returned to earth. 


THE taking of Guam during the war with Spain 
was one of the comedies of that disagreement. 
When its rickety fort was fired upon by one of our 
ships, the Spanish governor hastened down to the 
shore to greet the American officers, and apologized 
because he was out of powder and could not reply 
to what he supposed was a salute. Off in that cor- 
ner of the world he had not heard of any war. 

With the cession of this largest of the Ladrone 
islands we fall heir to some race problems as baffling 
as those presented by our Indians. The natives of 
this group belong to the Tarapons, and the traditions 


In the Pacific 

of these people say that they came in part from the 
east and partly from the west. It has been thought 
that they have a slight mixture of Mongolian blood, 
and this is not unlikely, for Chinese and Japanese 
junks have at various times been blown over sea to 
farther shores than these. History for this group be- 
gins with Magellan, who named it for the ladrones 
or thieves, who annexed his belongings when he 
arrived on the first voyage that had ever been made 
around the world. That they had crafts and arts is 
proved by their weapons, canoes, cloth, and armor, 
and they have left here some remarkable stone col- 
umns, more than twice the height of a man, with 
hemispheres of rock on their tops, flat sides upper- 
most, and six feet wide. In Tinian, Kusaie, and also 
in Ponape, in the Carolines, there are ruins, includ- 
ing, in the latter island, a court three hundred feet 
long with walls ten yards high, some of the mono- 
liths being twenty-five feet long and eight feet thick. 
On Tongataboo are larger rocks, forty feet high, 
which were quarried elsewhere and shipped to that 
coral island. On Easter Island are platforms a hun- 
dred yards long, ten wide and ten high, with great 
statues all cut from stone. None of these remains, 
nor the picture-writing found near the statues, throw 
light on the history, purpose, or personality of their 
builders. Every family has its little circle of shells 
and stones which is a shrine where the gods are wor- 
shipped, and most of the gods are spirits of the great 
and wise who died long ago. Offerings to these took 


Myths and Legends 

the form of food and of anointing for their altars, but 
human sacrifices were no doubt demanded at times, 
when the priests had been specially venturesome in 
asking favors. When a man died his soul sprang 
out, went below the earth, and found felicity in the 
west. This belief resembles the Indian faith in the 
happy hunting-ground, and incidentally it points the 
course of empire. The spirit could return once in 
a while, and ghostly visitations were sorely dreaded. 
The institution of the taboo was and is connected 
with the native religions of the Pacific islands. We 
have adopted the word and use it in its true meaning 
of forbidden. If an article were dedicated to a god, 
or used in his worship, or had been touched by him, 
or claimed by a chief or a priest, no commoner dared 
lay finger on it, for it was as sacred as the ark of the 
covenant. Some canny planters kept boys out of 
their orchards and palm groves by offering the fruit 
to certain gods until it was ripe, for a sign of taboo 
kept out all marauders till the crop was ready for 
gathering, when the owner changed his mind and 
claimed it himself. To break a taboo was not only 
to incur the wrath of the priests, but of the gods to 
whom the gift was offered, and who would surely 
reward the blasphemer for his sin by illness, acci- 
dent, loss, or death. 

As soon as the Spaniards had occupied the La- 
drones — afterward named the Marianas, in honor of 
Maria Anna, queen of Philip IV. of Spain — they 
proceeded to slaughter the natives. In seventy years 


In the Pacific 

they had slain with sword, rack, toil, grief, and new 
diseases about fifty thousand people, reducing the 
populace to eighteen hundred. Of this aboriginal 
race, the Chamorros, nearly all have perished. In 
their original estate these were the most advanced 
of the Pacific islanders ; they had more arts, more 
refinement, more kindliness, and more morality than 
the others. Under an age of oppression and abuse 
they naturally deteriorated, and have cared little to 
advantage themselves by the few schools and chapels 
that the Spaniards established in Guam and there- 
about. It may be that the Chamorros shared with 
the people of the Carolines in the suffering caused 
by the great irruption of savages from the south under 
Icho-Kalakal. These warriors, in their wooden na- 
vies, destroyed the great tombs and temples because 
they had been raised to other gods than their own, 
slew the defenders of the temples, and broke up the 
old civilization, passing frorn island to island, and 
continuing their waste and murder. It was a raid 
of Goths and Vandals, and the effect of it was last- 
ing. In Ponape it is said that the great structures 
they overthrew are haunted, and people thereabout 
will not eat a certain fresh-water fish of a blue color, 
because the king, Chauteleur, flying before Icho- 
Kalakal, fell into Chapalap River and was changed 
by the gods into one of these fish. 



Myths and Legends 


RESPECTING their myths the Filipinos diiFer 
in little from other haman families whose 
civilization is incomplete. They had in former 
times the same tendency to create gods and spirits 
for particular hills, woods, seas, and lakes, to endow 
the brutes with human qualities, to symbolize in the 
deeds of men and animals the phenomena of the 
heavens. Even now the Monteses tell of a tree that 
folds its limbs around the trunk of another and hugs 
it to death, the tree thus killed rotting and leaving a 
tube of tightly laced branches in which are creatures 
that bleed through the bark at a sword-thrust or an 
ax-cut. These creatures are mischievously alleged 
to be Spaniards. The Tagalogs believe in Tic- 
Balan, an evil spirit who inhabits fig-trees, but is kept 
off by wearing a certain herb, and in a female spirit 
of the woods, Azuan, who is kept away from the 
house in times of domestic anxiety by the husband, 
who mounts to the roof and keeps up a disturbance 
for some hours. 

In their feasts and ceremonies the natives have 
hymns and prayers to the rain-spirit, the sea, the 
star-god, the good birds, and the winds. Little has 
been done toward the preservation of their myths, 
for the Spaniards, during their centuries of control, 
suppressed learning, except as it pertained to relig- 
ious studies, and tolerated but scant liberty of opin- 
ion. The friars, against whom the people nursed 


In the Pacific 

so strong a hate, stood for all that was harsh, nar- 
row, tyrannical, and unprogressive. In order to gain 
money and maintain their political ascendency they 
engaged in commerce, became owners of real estate 
and buildings, including saloons and dance-houses, 
debased their churchly functions, discouraged at- 
tempts at progress, practically forbade the printing 
of secular books and papers, making illiteracy, with 
its attendant vice, poverty, and superstition, univer- 
sal ; and when Dr. Jose Rizal urged his reforms in 
the church and civil service, he was shot, though 
not as a blasphemer, but because his secret order, 
the Katipunan, with its Masonic ritual and blood 
initiation, was thought to be dangerous to the public 

The change from this medieval condition to that 
of the nineteenth century, with its impatience of 
title, caste, form, and ceremony, its trust in equal 
right, its insistence on freedom of belief, came sud- 
denly. In shaking off their ancient political and 
religious bonds the Filipinos may lose some of the 
quaint and poetic records of their ancient faiths; for 
the first progress of a nation after a long sleep is a 
material one, and art, literature, all the more delicate 
expressions of national taste, history, and tendency, 
have to bide their day until the fortunes of the na- 
tion are assured. In this period of reconstruction 
let us hope that those fables and dreams will not be 
forgotten which tell, more truly than dates and names 
and records, the ancient state of the people, and af- 


Myths and Legends 

ford us a means of estimating the impetus and direc- 
tion of their advance. 

The influence of Christian teaching is plain in 
some of the songs, plays, and stories of the natives, 
especially in the plays, for in them the hero is often 
a Christian prince who defeats a strong and wicked 
Mohammedan ruler, and releases an injured maiden. 
Change the names and the play becomes a modern 
English melodrama. In several of the islands, how- 
ever, the impress of Spanish occupancy is slight, and 
customs are still in force that have existed for hun- 
dreds of years. On Mindanao are still to be found 
the politic devil-worshippers, who, instead of seek- 
ing to ingratiate themselves with benevolent deities, 
whose favor is already assured, try to gain the good- 
will oi the fiends. Their rites are practised in caves 
in which will be found ugly figures of wood and an 
altar on which animals are sacrificed. The flesh of 
these animals is eaten by the devils, according to the 
priests, and by the priests, according to the white 
men. The evil spirits who appear in the half-dark- 
ness of these caves, leaping and screaming, goading 
the company to frenzy, are priests in disguise and in 
demoniac possession. 

Tagbanuas tear a house down when a death occurs 
in it, bury the corpse in the woods, and mark the 
grave by dishes and pots used by the deceased in life. 
These implements are broken. Among our American 
Indians the outfits supplied to a dead man are in sound 
condition, as it is supposed he will need them on his 


In the Pacific 

journey to the happy hunting-grounds, while the 
Chinese put rice and chicken in sound vessels on the 
graves of their brethren, believing they will need 
refreshment when they start on the long journey to 
the land of the shades. Tramps know where the 
Chinese are accustomed to bury their dead in Ameri- 
can cities. When food is placed before an Otaheite 
corpse it is not for the dead, but for the gods, and 
is intended to secure their good offices for the de- 
parted. While a Tagbanua corpse is above ground 
it is liable to be eaten by a vampire called the balbal 
that lives on Mindanao, has the form of a man with 
wings and great claws, tears open the thatch of houses 
and consumes bodies by means of a long tongue, 
which it thrusts through the opening in the roof. 
These Tagbanuas do not believe in a heaven in the 
skies, because, they say, you could not get up there. 
When a man dies he enters a cave that leads into the 
depths of the earth, and aftdr travelling for a long 
time he arrives in the chamber where Taliakood sits, 
— a giant who employs his leisure in stirring a fire 
that licks two tree trunks without destroying them. 
The giant asks the new-comer if he has been good or 
bad in the world overhead, but the dead man makes 
no reply. He has a witness who has lived with him 
and knows his actions, and it is the function and duty 
of this witness to state the case. This little creature 
is a louse. On being asked what would happen if a 
native were to die without one of these attendants, 
the people protest that no such thing ever happens. 


Myths and Legends 

So the louse, having neither to gain nor lose, re- 
ports the conduct of his commissary and associate, 
and if the man has been bad, Taliakood throws 
him into the fire, where he is burned to ashes, and 
so an end of him. If he has been good, the giant 
speeds him on his way to a happy hunting-ground, 
where he can kill animals by thousands, and where 
the earth also yields fruits and vegetables in plenty. 
Here he finds a house, without having the trouble to 
build one, and a wife is also provided for him, — the 
deceased wife of some neighbor usually, although he 
can have his own wife if she is considerate enough 
to die when he does. Down here everybody is well 
off, though the rich, having had much pleasure in the 
world, have less of it than the poor. After a term 
of years the Tagbanua dies again and goes at once to 
a heaven in a deeper cave without danger from fire. 
Seven times he dies, each time going deeper and be- 
coming happier, and probably gains Nirvana in the 
end. Occasionally a good spirit returns as a dove, 
and a bad one comes as a goat ; indeed, a few of 
the bad ones are doomed to wander over the earth 

A common belief is that the soul is absent from 
the body in sleep, and if death occurs then the soul 
is lost. *' May you die sleeping" is one of the most 
dreadful of curses. 

Among the Mangyan mountaineers it is customary 
to desert a person who is about to die. They return 
after his death, carry the corpse to the forest, build 


In the Pacific 

a fence about it, and roof it with a thatch. These 
people seem to have no word for god, spirit, or 
future life ; they do not worship either visible or un- 
seen things, and are the most moral of the Filipinos. 
The lowlanders also desert their dying, and after 
death close all paths to the house, leave the skeleton 
of the defunct to be picked clean by ants, and change 
their names for luck. 

When an islander in the Calamianes province dies 
his friends ask the corpse where it would like to be 
buried, naming several places, and lifting the body 
after each question. When the body seems to rise 
lightly the dead man has said, " Yes." It may then 
be buried, or placed in a tree in the desired locality, 
with such of its belongings as the family can spare, 
and the mourners watch around a fire that night until 
all the logs are consumed. The dead man walks 
about in the ashes, leaving his footprints, and some- 
times shows himself to his relatives. Singing and 
feasting follow for several nights, and the house of 
the dead is then abandoned. 

The holes in the marble cliffs of San Francisco 
Strait formerly contained the coffined dead of the 
tattooed Pintados, who sacrificed slaves at the funeral 
that they might attend their relatives in the next 
world. Fear of the spirits of these rocks was but 
partially overcome when a Spanish priest smashed 
the coffins and tumbled the bodies into the sea, for 
the strait is still haunted and the burial rocks are good 
places to keep away from after dark. 


Myths and Legends 

Among the Moslem Moros it is a sure passport to 
heaven to kill a Christian, and when one remembers 
how the people have been robbed, tortured, and op- 
pressed by nominal Christians, this item of faith is 
not surprising. The more Christians he kills the 
greater will be his reward. He bathes in a sacred 
spring, shaves his eye-brows, dresses in white, takes 
an oath before a pandita or native priest to die killing 
infidels ; then, with the ugly creese, or wave-edged 
knife, he runs madly through the street, killing, right 
and left, until some considerate person shoots him. 
In the rage for blood he has been known to push 
himself farther against a sword or bayonet that had 
already entered his vitals in order to stab the man 
who had stopped him. When they hear of his death 
the relatives of the fanatic have a celebration, and 
declare that in the fall of the night they see him ride 
by on a white horse, bound for the home of the good, 
where no Christians ever go to vex the angels. These 
people are often fatalists. They will drink water 
known to be poisoned with typhoid germs, and when 
epidemics come they declare them to be the will of 
God, and refuse to take the slightest measure against 
infection. They believe that when a strange black 
dog runs by cholera follows on his heels. 

Yet, like our Indians, the better Tagbanuas and 
Calamianes try to heal the sick through the aid of 
drugs and charms and incantations, and they have 
their medicine man or papalyan. There is in the 
forest a strange little fellow, known as the man of the 


In the Pacific 

wood, who has the power of giving to these doctors 
the art of healing. He rushes out upon one who 
walks alone, seeking power, and brandishes a spear, 
finally aiming it at the breast of the candidate, and 
advancing his foot as if to throw it. If the candidate 
runs he is unworthy, but if he stands his ground the 
little man of the wood drops his spear and gives a 
pearl to him. This pearl is never shown to any- 
body. It is looked at secretly at a patient's bedside, 
and if clear the physician will prescribe, but if it is 
dark, or has taken on a stony aspect, he resigns the 
case. The ** drugs" are similar to those used by the 
Chinese, consisting in part of powdered teeth and 
bones and other animal preparations. Charms are 
in common use as a protection not only from disease 
but from murder and misfortune, and in the fighting 
between the Americans and the natives about Manila 
many poor, half-naked creatures, armed with bows 
and arrows, had ventured fearlessly into the zone of 
fire, believing themselves to be safe because they 
wore an anting-anting at the neck. This object, like 
an Indian's " good medicine,'* is anything, — a little 
book, a bright pebble, a church relic, a medal, an 
old bullet, a coin, a piece of cloth, a pack of cards. 
It is the faith that goes with it, not the object itself, 
that counts. Even Aguinaldo has been invested by 
his followers with superhuman power. Just before 
he resorted to arms against the Americans the natives 
knew that the time for rebellion had come, for a 
woman in Biacnabato gave birth to a child dressed 


Myths and Legends 

in a general's uniform, and above Tondo a woman's 
figure crowned with snakes was painted in fire upon 
the night-sky. 

In details of their faiths the tribes differ, but there 
is a prevalent belief in a principle of good that the 
Moros call Tuhan. The sun, moon, and stars are 
the light that shines from him, — he is everywhere, 
all-seeing, all-powerful ; he has given fleeting souls 
to brutes and eternal souls to men. The soul enters 
a child's body at birth, through the soft space in the 
top of the head, and leaves through the skull at death. 
Their first men were giants, and Eve was fifty feet 
high, but as men's minds grew their bodies became 
of less account, and they will shrink and shrink until, 
at the world's end, they will be only three feet high, 
but will consist mostly of brains. Comparing a 
brawny savage with an anasmic scholar, one fancies 
there is reason in this forecast. The Tagbanuas have 
no Adam and Eve. Those of them who live beside 
the ocean say they are the children of Bulalacao, a 
falling star that descended to the shore and became a 
beautiful woman. The gods of these people are like 
men, but are stronger, living in caves, eating an am- 
brosia-like boiled rice that has the power of moving. 
Their gods sometimes steal their children. 

Old Testament traditions are commonly accepted 
by the Moros, who believe in No (Noah), Adam, 
Mosa (Moses), Ibrahim (Abraham), Sulaiman (Solo- 
mon), Daud (David), and Yakub (Jacob) ; but crea- 
tion myths are locally modified, and some tales of 


In the Pacific 

recent emergence of islands out of the sea are proba- 
bly true. In all volcanic districts mountains may be 
shaken down and hills cast up in a day. Siquijor 
formerly bore the name of the Isle of Fire, for the 
natives say that in the days of their grandfathers a 
cloud brooded on the sea for a week, uttering thun- 
ders and hisses and flashing forth bolts of fire. When 
the cloud lifted, Siquijor stood there. The geology 
of the island supports the tradition. 

The future is differently conceived by different 
sects and families, some panditas teaching that the 
soul, having come from God, will return to him at 
death ; others that it will sleep in the earth or the 
air until the world has ended, when all will be swept 
on a wind to a mount of judgment, where saints and 
angels will weigh them, and souls heavy with sin 
will fall into hell ; others that there is no hell of 
fire, because there is not coal enough to keep it 
going, but that every man is punished until his soul 
is purified, when it rises to heaven, glowing with 
light and color ; others that men are punished accord- 
ing to their sins ; liars and gossips with sore mouths 
and tired jaws ; gluttons with lame stomachs ; jeal- 
ous, cruel, tricky people with aching hearts ; abusive 
and thievish ones with pains in their hands ; others 
that one finds hell enough on earth in fear, illness, 
disappointment, misunderstanding and Spaniards, to 
atone for all the mischief he is liable to make. 


Myths and Legends 


IN the fables of the Filipinos the animals often 
speak together in a common language. The 
dove, however, is the only one that comprehends 
human speech, and it is a creature of uncommon 
shrewdness and intelligence, like the hare in the 
Indian myths and Br'er Rabbit in the stories of our 
Southern negroes. Once the dove was a child. In 
shame and anger that its mother should refuse to give 
it some rice she was pounding for panapig (a sort of 
cake), it ran out of the cabin, took two leaves of a 
nipa, shaped wings from them, which it fastened to 
its shoulders, and fluttered into the boughs of a neigh- 
boring tree, changing, in its flight, from a child to a 
dove. It still calls for panapig. 

Darwin is read backward by the natives, for they 
say that the monkey was a man, long, long ago, and 
might have been one still but for his manana habit, 
so general in the Spanish colonies. He had a part- 
ner whom he greatly vexed by his idleness, and once, 
when this partner was planting rice, he glanced up 
and saw the monkey squatted on the earth, with his 
face between his hands, watching the labors of the 
industrious member of the firm, — for nothing makes 
loafing sweeter than to see somebody else work. 
Enraged, the busy one caught up a cudgel and flung 
it at the monkey, who was thereupon seized with a 
sudden but futile activity, and started to run away. 
The club struck him in the rear so mightily that it 


In the Pacific 

entered his spinal column and stayed there, becoming 
his tail. 

In the Moro tradition of the flood — a tradition 
almost world-wide — Noah and his family got into a 
box when the forty days of rain began, and one pair 
of each kind of bird and beast followed them. All 
of the human race except Noah, his wife and children, 
were either drowned or changed. Those men who 
ran to the mountains when they saw the flood rising 
became monkeys; those who flung themselves into the 
sea became fish ; the Chinese turned into hornbills ; 
a woman who was eating seaweed and kept on eating 
after the waves broke over her became a dugong. 

In Mindanao, Basilan, and Sulu the pig is held in 
suspicion and its flesh is not eaten. The reason for 
this aversion is that the first pigs were grandchildren 
of the great Mahomet himself, and their conversion 
to these lowly quadrupeds fell out in this way : 
When Jesus (Isa) called on .Mahomet, the latter, 
jealous of his reputed power, bade him guess what 
was in the next room. Christ said that he did not 
wish to do so. Mahomet then commanded him to 
prove his ability to see through walls, and added that 
if he made a mistake he would kill him. There- 
upon Christ answered, " There are two animals in 
that chamber that are like no other in the world." 

** Wrong !" cried the Prophet, plucking out his 
sword. ** They are my grandchildren. You have 
spoken false, and you must lose your head.'* 

" Look and see," insisted Christ, and Mahomet 

Myths and Legends 

flung open the chamber door, whereupon two hogs 
rushed out. It should be added that while the di- 
vinity of Christ is denied in some of the Oriental 
religions, he figures in many of them as a great and 
good man, gifted with supernatural power. Moros 
charge as one reason for killing Christians that fol- 
lowers of Christ disgrace and belie mankind in teach- 
ing that men could kill their own god. 

On Mindoro the timarau. a small buffalo that lives 
in the jungle, has given rise to rumors of a fierce and 
destructive creature that carries a single horn on his 
head. It is a wild and hard fighter, but it has two 
horns, and is not likely to injure any save those who 
are seeking to injure it. A creature with an armed 
head has lingered down from the day of Marco Polo, 
because in the stock of yarns assembled by that 
redoubtable tourist the unicorn figured. This was 
the rhinoceros, which is found so near the Philip- 
pines as Sumatra. The gnu of Africa is another 
possible ancestor of this creature, a belief in which 
goes back to the time of Aristotle ; but the horse- 
like animal with a narwhal's horn that frisks on the 
British arms never existed. 

And, speaking of horses, it is strange that cen- 
taurs should figure in the mythology of a country 
like Luzon ; but a mile from the church at Mariveles 
is a hot spring beside which lived a creature that was 
half-horse and half-man. As in ancient Greece, there 
is little doubt that a belief in this being came from 
the wonder excited by the first horsemen. 


In the Pacific 

Sea-eagles in the East are large and powerful, and 
are believed to have long memories. According to 
report, a man living near Jala Jala once stole a nest 
of their young and carried it to his house. It was a 
year from that time before any retaliation was at- 
tempted. The birds then appeared above his prem- 
ises, swooped down on his wife, clawed her face and 
beat her with their wings until she was half-dead ; 
then picked up her babe and carried it away before 
the eyes of the helpless parents. Next year they 
came again, and another infant, a few months old, 
was stolen. The man tracked them to their nest, 
which had been built high on a cliff* that no one had 
ever scaled before. Nerved by grief and anger, he 
climbed it. In the nest were the skeletons of his 
children. As he clung to the rock, hanging over a 
dizzy space and looking on these sad relics, the father 
bird came swooping from the sky and began to strike 
at him with claws and wings. In the face of such 
an assault the man could not descend in safety. Death 
was sure. He could only hope to kill his enemy, 
too. As the bird drew near he leaped from the 
rock, caught the eagle about the neck, and the two 
plunged down to death together. 

An animal god especially to be feared is Calapni- 
tan, king of the bats. He is so powerful and capable 
of mischief that in exploring a cave where bats are 
likely to have congregated the natives will speak in 
the most respectful terms of this deity, for he would 
be sure to hear them if they spoke flippantly of him, 


IMyths and Legends 

and might swoop from the cave roof and whip their 
eyes out with his leathern wings or tear them with 
his claws. Hence they bow their heads and speak 
with reverence of the Lord Calapnitan's cave, the 
Lord Calapnitan*s stalactite, even recognizing his 
temporary ownership of their clothing, arms, lights, 
and so on, and alluding to their own jackets as the 
Lord Calapnitan's. By carefully refraining in this 
manner from giving offence the Filipinos have suc- 
ceeded in keeping their skins entire while guiding 
white travellers through the caverns in their islands. 


AMONG stories that date no farther back than 
the Spanish conquest we find the usual tales 
of sacred springs, of visions, and of blessed objects. 
The Church of the Holy Infant, in the city of 
Cebu, contains an image of the Christ child, about 
fifteen inches in height, carved in ebony, preserved 
in much state and loaded with a profusion of orna- 
ment. The priests tell you that it was made in 
heaven, thrown to the earth, and found in 1565 by 
a soldier who recovered from an illness when he 
touched it. It was taken to the convent in Cebu, 
where the clergy emplaced it with great ceremony, 
and where on the 20th of January in every year it 
is dressed in a field marshal's regalia, receives a field 
marshal's salute, and is worshipped by thousands of 


In the Pacific 

pilgrims from all parts of the archipelago. So many 
women wrought themselves into an insane frenzy 
during these January feasts that their sacred dances, 
which were once a part of the ceremonies, had to 
be stopped. When the town was burned this statue 
saved itself from the flames, as did the bamboo cross 
near the church, which is said to be the same that 
was erected by the monk, Martin de Rada, on the 
day when the Spanish landed, more than three cen- 
turies ago. Matter-of-fact historians allow that the 
figure of the child may have been left there by Ma- 
gellan. It worked miracles of a surprising character 
for years after his death, and the first settlement in 
Cebu was called The City of the Most Holy Name 
of Jesus in its honor. The customary discrepancies 
between the piety and the practice of the conquerors 
existed in the Philippines, as in the Antilles. They 
slew the natives until the survivors threw up their 
hands and professed the right religion ; then they 
shot twenty-four thousand Chinese who had settled 
in and about Cebu, thus reducing themselves to a 
wretched state, for these Spaniards had depended on 
the Chinese as their servants, cooks, farmers, labor- 
ers, shoemakers, and tailors. It is worthy of note that 
other missionaries had shown activity, but with less 
result, for their methods had been more conciliatory. 
The Mahometanism that had been introduced by 
Moslem preachers from Arabia got no farther than 
Sulu, and the Confucianism imported by Chinamen 
seems to have obtained no permanent hold. Through 
ao 305 

Myths and Legends 

all changes the Holy Child remained uninjured, and 
he continues his good work to this day. 

When the Sulu pirates had fallen upon a year of 
such bad business that they reaped a profit of 
barely fifty per cent, on their investment in ships and 
weapons, there was great discontent among them. 
Prizes were few and defeats occasional. Looking 
back on their highest hill, as they sailed away, and 
fearing that when they returned it might be with but 
half a cargo of gold and rum and Christians, so many 
of them wept for the misery of this thought that 
to this day the height is known as Buat Timantangis, 
or Mount of Tears. In one dull season, when the 
pirates were almost mutinous because of their con- 
tinued ill-fortune, it occurred to one of the captains 
that an image to which the Christians prayed so ear- 
nestly and with such good effect might do as much 
for him as for some other natives. In his barbarian 
mind there was no absurdity in trying to persuade a 
gentle Virgin or a pure-minded Saint to deliver into 
his hands the goods and persons of those who knelt 
before their effigies. A sacred image was ** good 
medicine" for Spaniards and Tagalogs, and should, 
therefore, be good medicine for Mahometans. 
Thus, he bethought him of the statue now known 
as the Virgin of Antipolo, that came from Spain by 
way of Mexico in charge of early missionaries. To 
think was to act. He raided the village where it had 
been enshrined and attempted to carry it off; but 
the statue had warned the faithful of its peril, and 


In the Pacific 

the marauders were met and driven off by a power- 
ful force. The Virgin of Antipolo became one of 
the most influential of all the guardians of the islands, 
and to this day is especially besought by mothers 
who ask for her intercession on behalf of their sickly 
children. Holy water taken from her shrine will 
cure the sufferer, and the mother then performs a 
public penance in thankfulness. Before the Ameri- 
can arrival, with its sudden imposition of new ideas 
on an old society, it was no uncommon thing to see 
on Good Friday a company of the richest women in 
Manila, poorly attired and with bare feet, dragging 
through the streets a heavy cross thirty feet in length. 
This was in fulfilment of vows they had made at the 
shrine of Antipolo. 

This Virgin of* Antipolo is likewise known as Our 
Lady of Good Voyage and Peace. She arrived from 
Mexico in a state galleon in 1626. On the voyage 
she calmed a storm so quickly that the priests pro- 
claimed her special sanctity, and ordered her to be 
received in Manila with salutes of bells and guns. 
While the Jesuits were building a church for her she 
would often descend from her temporary altar and 
stand in an antipolo tree (Astocarpus incisa). Peo- 
ple cut pieces from this tree for charms against dis- 
ease and misfortune, until Father Salazar ordered that 
the trunk should be its pedestal. In an early rebel- 
lion the Chinese insurgents threw the statue into the 
fire. Flames were all about it, yet not a hair, not a 
thread of lace was singed, and the body of brass was 


Myths and Legends 

unmarked by smoke. Angered at this defiance of 
their power, a Chinaman stabbed it in the face, and, 
curiously, the wound remains to this day in protest 
against the savagery that incited it. When for a sec- 
ond time the Virgin passed unscathed through a 
conflagration the Spanish infantry bore her on their 
shoulders about the streets, shouting in the joy of 
her protection. A galleon having been endangered 
by rocks and bars in Manila Bay, the captain bor- 
rowed this statue, prayed that it would secure the 
safety of his ship, and, to the wonder of all, his 
vessel rode proudly up to the city gates, for the 
Virgin had ordered that the rocks should smk deeper 
beneath the sea. Twice afterward she did a like 
service to captains who borrowed the figure as a safe- 
guard on the long voyage to Mexico and back, for 
each time she suppressed great storms. At the time 
of the assault on Manila by the Dutch she assisted 
in the defeat of the strangers, though St. Mark was 
associated with her in the victory. He had told the 
governor in a dream that success should attend the 
Spanish arms if his people would carry the Virgin 
into the fight. This was done, and the Dutch lost 
three ships with their cargoes. She was finally 
domiciled in the town of Antipolo, which, beside 
being famous as a shrine, has been one of the most 
noted resorts for brigands in the Philippines. The 
village of four thousand people subsists largely on 
the money spent by pilgrims to her church. 

Every family in the Christian communities has a 


In the Pacific 

little statue of the Virgin or of a patron saint, to 
which prayers are addressed. Occasionally as much 
as a thousand dollars will be paid for one of these 
images, for some have more power than others. 
When Tondo caught fire and was reduced to ashes, 
the houses of mat and bamboo burning like paper, 
one thing alone survived the flames : a wooden 
statue of Mary. This token of a special watch upon 
the figure immediately raised its importance, and it 
was attired in the dress and ornaments of gold in 
which it may now be seen. Not all the domestic 
saints are brilliantly dressed or originally expensive. 
One Filipino family worshipped a portrait of Gari- 
baldi that adorned the cover of a raisin box, while a 
native elsewhere was found on his knees before a 
picture from an American comic paper that repre- 
sented President Cleveland attired as a monk and 
wearing a tin halo. Both of these pictures had been 
placed on altars, and candles were burned before 

Another statue of great power is in the church at 
Majajay. It was sent there from Spain in charge of 
the friars, and is especially besought by invalids, for 
it is a general belief that whosoever will reach the 
church with breath enough remaining in him to re- 
cite certain prayers before this image shall have fresh 
lease of life ; yea^ though he were at his last gasp. 

Some of the attacks made on the friars in the 
Philippines have been construed into attacks on the 
Church, but this is wrong. For the good of the 


Myths and Legends 

Church, no less than of the people, it is desired to 
purge the islands of these ancient offenders. They 
have used religion as a cloak for evil, have encour- 
aged, in private, vices they preached against in pub- 
lic, have availed themselves of famines and other 
distresses to force money from the poor, and have 
fathered as many half-castes as the Spanish soldiers 
have. As to their offspring, Filipino wives have 
quieted jealous husbands by assuring them that the 
appearance of a European complexion in a hitherto 
brown family was a special favor from St. Peter, — a 
miracle ordered by the keeper of heaven as a reward 
for piety and good works. Hence, one hears much of 
St. Peter's children in the Philippines. Some of the 
white inhabitants have nevertheless been conspicuous 
for virtue. Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, for example, 
the first ruler of the islands, was so good that for 
years after his death his body, now in the St. Augus- 
tine Monastery, Manila, underwent no decay or 
change, but was like that of a man in sleep. 

Alitagtag, north of Bauan, became in 1595 a resort 
of ghosts and devils that congregated about a spring 
near the village, so that the people were afraid to go 
there for water. A native headman took wood from 
a deserted house, made a cross of it, and set it up 
near the spring to spell away the fiends. As the 
people still feared, a woman of courage ventured 
near the place to find that a stream of cold, pure 
water was flowing from one of the arms of the 
cross. To further assure the people that the evil 


In the Pacific 

spirits had been mastered the cross arose from the 
earth and stalked about the fields, surrounded by 
bright lights. Thereupon the clergy ordered that it 
should be adored, and from that time it became an ob- 
ject of worship, healing diseases, dispelling plagues, 
and killing locusts. When the priests at Bauan an- 
nounced that they intended to move the cross to 
Lake Bombon, the priest of Taal, being jealous of 
his brothers in the other town, hired some natives to 
steal it and take it to his house. No sooner had the 
men assembled for this purpose than sheets of green 
fire fell about the cross, defending it from their ap- 
proach, and in a frenzy of contrition they ran back, 
solemnly vowing that they would never make a 
similar attempt again. The cross was, therefore, 
taken to Bauan, where it did service for the people 
by terrorizing a band of pirates and by stopping an 
eruption of the Taal volcano in 1611. This peak 
of Taal had been a resort of devils from time imme- 
morial, and it had been a frequent duty of the Church 
to pray them into silence. In the year just named 
Father Albuquerque headed a procession that as- 
cended the mountain for this purpose. Near the 
summit he paused and lifted the cup containing the 
blood of Christ. Dreadful noises were heard, like 
the laughter of ten thousand fiends, in vaults below. 
Then, with a groan and crash, the earth split and 
two craters appeared, one filled with boiling sulphur, 
the other with green water. The cross was sent for. 
It was brought by four hundred natives. When it 


Myths and Legends 

was put into the priest's hands he lifted it toward the 
sky and all united in prayer. During this petition, 
while every head was bent and all eyes were shut, 
the craters softly closed and Taal was as it had been 
before. Yet the demons still linger about the moun- 
tain. Not many years ago an Englishman tunnelled 
the peak for sulphur. The fiends of the volcano shook 
the roof down on his head and he perished. In May 
it has been a custom to hold a feast in honor of this 
cross, if the natives furnish the necessary candles and 
raise ten dollars for the officiating priest. 

Bangi, in Ilocos Norte, had a shrine in which was 
the image of a child with a lamb. Herbs pressed 
against it would cure all diseases. For years a dis- 
pute was carried on between clerical factions as to 
whether it represented St. John the Baptist or Christ. 
Bishop Miguel Garcia, having undressed it and exam- 
ined it thoroughly, decided it to be a Chinese idol. 
Thereupon it was broken and burned as a thing un- 

Our Lady of Casaysay, in Batangas, is so esteemed 
that ships salute her in passing. She was found by 
a fisherman in his net. He took her to a cave, not 
knowing what to make of his strange find, and in- 
tending to keep her there probably as a treasure not 
to be shared by his neighbors. She astonished and 
disappointed him by proclaiming herself with flash- 
ing lights of beautiful color and with loud music. 
As these demonstrations frightened the peaceable 
rustics, the Virgin left her cave, visited a native 


In the Pacific 

woman, spoke kindly to her, and was thereupon 
provided with a shrine, where she might be adored 
with proper ceremony. 

The statue of St. Joaquin at Gusi is remarkable 
because every year it runs away and spends two 
weeks with its wooden wife, the figure of St. Ann, 
at Molo. 

Manila once had a saint that wagged its head 
approvingly at certain points in the sermon. This 
conduct drove so many women into hysterics, and 
crowded the church so dangerously with people who 
went to see the miracle, that the archbishop discoun- 
tenanced its action, and ordered that it should be 
quiet thereafter. Quiet was easily secured by cutting 
the string attached to the saint's neck. The padre 
was accustomed to pull this during his discourse 
whenever he wished his congregation to believe that 
the saints approved his eloquence or endorsed his 

Holy water from the Conception district of Panay 
saves life, and San Pascual Bailon cures barrenness. 
A Manila milkman who was punished for selling 
watered milk expressed surprise at the complaints 
of his customers, because no wrong had been com- 
mitted, inasmuch as he had used nothing but holy 
water, which was far superior to milk. Water from 
the prison well at Iloilo was held at so high a value 
that the prison-keeper made a fortune from it, as 
it was given out that Christ and the Virgin had 
been seen bathing in the well. Our Lady of the Holy 


Myths and Legends 

Waters presides over the hot springs below Maquiling 
Mountain, an old crater. Another popular place of 
pilgrimage is the shrine at Tagbauang, near Iloilo, 
where illnesses are cured at a high mass in January. 
One of the last recorded appearances of the Vir- 
gin was in 1884, when a band of robbers in Tayabas 
killed a plantation manager, wounded several labor- 
ers, and ransacked the house of the owner. While 
in one of the bedrooms tying clothes, jewelry, and 
other loot into parcels for removal, the Virgin ap- 
peared, and standing in the door looked with severity 
and distress on the bandits. They immediately left 
their plunder and ran pell-mell from the building. 
Some of these robbers were arrested, but the Virgin 
had compassion on them for leaving the proceeds of 
their raid, so none was garroted or even sentenced. 
Some go so far as to say that the Virgin had nothing 
to do with their escape from punishment, alleging 
that the officers of the law had conspired with them, 
and that the Spanish courts were even worse than 
those of a land that shall be nameless in respect of 
their slowness and the facilities they offered for ad- 
journments, retrials, and appeals on grounds that if 
presented in any other cause than that of a breaker 
of the law would be laughed to scorn. Filipino 
bandits often wear medals of the Virgin and saints 
to protect them from harm, and some are made bold 
by confidence in their protection. It is a belief of 
theirs that they will never be punished for any crime 
they may commit in Easter week, for the rather ob- 


In the Pacific 

scure reason that Christ pardoned the thief on the 
cross on Good Friday. 

A curious chapel on a blufF near Pasig, overlook- 
ing the river of that name, has the form of a pagoda. 
It was built as a thank-offering by a Chinaman who, 
having been endangered by a crocodile, and having 
called on men and joss without receiving an an- 
swer, prayed volubly to the Christians' God as he 
swam toward the shore, and promised to erect a 
chapel in return for his life. His prayer was an- 
swered, for the crocodile was turned to stone, and 
may now be seen in the bed of the stream, while the 
grateful Mongol kept his word, and also joined the 


OF nearly six hundred species of birds in the 
Philippines the jungle fowl, or bankiva, is 
best known, and is both killed and domesticated. 
Unlike the dove, it does not understand human 
speech, but it has a power over our kind that is exer- 
cised by no other animal. Once a year the spirits 
grant to it this power of charming, in order that 
both spirits and birds may be revenged on men, their 
constant enemies. When that day comes the Luzon 
mother tremblingly gathers her little ones about her 
and warns them not to leave their door, for young ears 
heed the strange, sweet music of the fowl's voice, 
which grown people cannot hear. On that day the 


Myths and Legends 

bird sings with a new note, and the flock of bankivas 
choose the largest, handsomest of their number to 
lead the march of children. On the edge of the 
village he gives his song, and every toddler runs 
delightedly to see what causes the music. Babes 
respond with soft, cooing notes, and will go on 
hands and knees if they can. They find the ban- 
kivas gathered in a little ring, spreading their tails 
and wings, dancing and singing in harmony, the head 
bird setting the air. When the children have gath- 
ered, they, too, begin to dance and sing, following 
the birds as they go deeper and deeper into the wood. 
Night falls, and with a harsh cry the bankivas fly away 
in all directions. The children are as if awakened 
from a sleep. They do not know where they are, 
and cannot tell which way to turn. Jungles and 
swamps are about them, man-eating crocodiles are 
watching from the water, poisonous and strangling 
snakes are gliding about the brush, the pythons that 
loop themselves from overhanging limbs are some- 
times thrice the length of a man. Dread and danger 
are on every hand. And at home the mothers sit 
crying. Sometimes, though rarely, a man or woman 
totters back to a village bearing marks of great age, 
and is sure that he or she left there only the night 
before. These wanderers do not know where they 
have been. They remember only that the bankiva 
sang sweetly, and they followed it, as the children 
of Hamelin followed the pied piper. 


In the Pacific 


AMONG the fantastic stories told of snakes, 
water-buffalo, birds, and sharks are several 
that have obvious meaning. The crab figures in 
certain of these tales as the cause of the tides. He 
was an enormous creature and lived in a great hole 
in the bottom of a distant sea, whence he crawled 
twice a day, the water pouring into the hollow then, 
and leaving low water on the coast. When he set- 
tled back again the water was forced out and the tide 
was high. The relation of tides to the moon may- 
have introduced this creature in another aspect as 
the moon's enemy and cause of her eclipse, for it 
is related that one evening a Filipino princess walk- 
ing on a beach saw with astonishment an island that 
had never been visible on the sea before. Her emo- 
tion was that of alarm when she saw the island ap- 
proach the shore, and she hid in the shrubbery to 
watch. Presently she could make out, despite the 
failing light, that it was no island, but a crab larger 
than a hundred buffalo. Its goggling eyes were dread- 
ful to see, its mouth was opening fiercely, its claws 
working as if eager to clutch its prey. The moon 
arose at the full, making a track of light across the 
heaving waters, and the crab, facing east, prepared 
to spring and drag it to its den beneath the ocean. 
Half a mile away the people of the princess were 
holding a feast with songs and dances. Would they 
hear a signal ? She placed her conch-shell horn at 


Myths and Legends 

her lips and blew with all her strength. The mon- 
ster still gnashed and grasped in expectancy at the 
sea's edge, and a breeze brought through the wood a 
faint sound of drums. Her people had not heard. 
Again she blew. This time the woods were still. 
Her people were listening. A third blast followed, 
and in a few minutes the warriors swarmed upon the 
beach with knives, swords, and lances. While the 
princess was explaining to them the moon's peril the 
crab made a leap into the air and darkened its face, 
causing an eclipse, but failing to get a hold it dropped 
back to the beach again, where the people fell upon 
it, the princess leading the attack with the war-call 
of her tribe. As the crab turned to see what had 
befallen, the princess slashed off his great left claw. 
With the other it crushed a soldier, but again her 
cresse fell and the right claw fell likewise. Then a 
hundred men rushed upon the creature, prodding 
their spears into joints of his legs and the dividing 
line between his back plate and belly. Others fell 
under his great bulk or were gnashed by his iron 
teeth, but in the end his shell was broken and the 
moon was safe. And often when the gentle pirate 
of the Sulus scoured the sea he uttered a prayer be- 
fore an image of the princess for a bright night and 
an easy victim, for had it not been for her the crab 
would have swallowed the moon, and the sea would 
have been as dark as some kinds of a conscience. 


In the Pacific 


WHILE roving over the waters that covered 
the earth the sun god saw the nymph 
Ursula sporting in the waves, and was smitten with 
a quick and mighty fondness. He nearly consumed 
himself in the ardor of his affection. She, however, 
was as cold and pure as the sea. As she swung 
drowsily on the billows she was like a picture painted 
in foam on their blue-green depth, and in breathing 
her bosom rose and fell like the waves themselves. 
As she saw the god descending she was filled with 
alarm, but as he took her into his strong embrace 
and placed his cheek to hers a new life and warmth 
came to her, and in their marriage the spirits of the 
air and water rejoiced. A son was born to them, — 
so beautiful a boy that the sun god made a land for 
him, stocked it with living creatures, adorned it with 
greenery and flowers, and gave it to the human race 
as an inheritance of joy forever. This land he called 
Cebu, and no land was more lovely. Lupa was the 
child, and from him came all the kings of Cebu, 
among them Amambar, the first chief of the island 
of whom we have definite record. In the day of his 
rule the group had long been peopled, and the use 
of tools and weapons had become known. One oc- 
casionally finds to-day the stone arrows and axes they 
called '* lightning teeth," and with which they worked 
such harm to one another in their many wars. 
It was an evening of March, 1521, a calm and 


Myths and Legends 

pleasant evening, with the perfume of flowers mixed 
with the tonic tang of the ocean^ birds flying and 
monkeys chattering in the wood, and a gentle surf 
whispering upon the beach. Amambar was walking 
on the shore alone. He had gone there to watch the 
gambols of the mermaids, when a great light whi- 
tened against the sunset. It came from a cross that 
had been planted just out of reach of the sea. He 
put his hands before his eyes that it might not dazzle 
him. Then, as the moon arose, he peered beneath 
his hands, out over the restless water, and there, 
against the golden globe that was lifting over the 
edge of the world, could be seen a flock of monster 
birds with gray wings, and dark men walking on 
their backs as they lightly rode the billows, the men 
sparkling and glinting as they moved, for they were 
arrayed in metal and bore long knives and lances that 
flashed like stars. Other of the company wore black 
robes and sang in unknown words, their voices mix- 
ing in a music never heard by Amambar before. A 
sparkling white cloud drooped slowly from the sky. 
A diamond vapor played about the cross. Out of 
the cloud came a melodious voice saying, ** Look up, 
O chief!" And looking at the cross again, he saw, 
extended there, a bleeding figure with a compas- 
sionate face that gazed down upon him and declared, 
** I am Jesus Christ, son of the only God. Those 
whom you see in the ships are my people, who have 
come to these islands to rule you for your good." 
Amambar fell prone on the sand and prayed for a 


In the Pacific 

long time, not daring to open his eyes. When he 
regained courage and arose the cloud was gone ; the 
ships had sailed away. He was alone. 

The commander of the ships was Magellan. It 
was one of his monks who had placed the cross on 
shore. Landing in Cebu later, he converted two 
thousand of the natives in a day by destroying the 
statue of Vishnu and putting that of the child Jesus 
in its place, though he still yielded to savage opinion 
in so far as he consented to confirm his friendship 
with the king by a heathen ceremony, each opening 
a vein in his arm and drinking the blood of the 
other. As usual, the appearance and ways of the 
Europeans smote the natives with wonder. They 
described the strangers as enormous men with long 
noses, who dressed in fine robes, ate stones (ship- 
bread), drank fire from sticks (pipes), and breathed 
out the smoke, commanded thunder and lightning 
from metal tubes, and were gods. Engaging in a 
wrangle between two tribes, Magellan was lured 
into a marsh at Mactan, and there, while watching 
a battle to see how great the Filipinos could be in 
war, he was slain with bamboo lances sharpened and 
hardened in fire. Amambar's Christianity did not 
endure, for he so wearied of the oppression and 
rapacity of the strangers that when a successor to 
Magellan appeared he invited him to a banquet and 
slew him at his meat. But the cross and the statue of 
Christ worked miracles among the faithful for many 

21 321 

Myths and Legends 

** Sing hey, sing ho ! The wind doth blow, 
And I'll meet my love in the morning," 

SANG the lookout, as he paced the forecastle of 
the galleon Rose of May, and peered about 
for signs of land against the dawn. Not that he ex- 
pected to meet his love in the morning, nor for many 
mornings, but he had been up in his ofF-watch and 
was getting drowsy, so that he sang to keep himself 
awake. His was one of the first among the English 
ships to follow in Magellan's track. The Philip- 
pines, or the Manillas, as they were called, had been 
almost reached, and it was expected that Mindanao 
would be sighted at break of day off the starboard 

** Hello, forward !" bawled the man at the helm. 
*< Ay, ay!" sang the lookout. 
" What d'ye make o' yonder light ?" 
** Light ? What d'ye mean, man ?" And the 
lookout rubbed his eyes, scanned the water close 
and far, and wondered if his sight was going out. 
" In the sky, o' course, ye bumble-brain." 
** Now, by the mass, you costard, you gave me a 
twist of the inwards with your lame joke." 
" 'Tis no joke. Will you answer ?" 
" Why, then, 'tis the daylight, in course, and you 
aiming for it that steady as to drive the nose of us 
straight agin the sun, give he comes up where he 
threats to. And he'll be here straightway, for in 


In the Pacific 

these waters he comes up as he were popped outen 
a cohorn.'* 

" The day ! Heaven forefend ! Tm holding her 
to the north." 

" You're holding due east. Aha ! Look yonder, 
where the cloud is lifting. Land ho !" 

** Where away ?" cried a mate, roused out of a 
forbidden doze by this talk, and blundering up to 
the roof of the after-castle. 

" Port bow, sir." 

" Port bow ! The fiend take us ! You block ! 
You jolterhead ! Where are you fetching us ?" 

** I'm holding her due to the north, sir, as you 
bade me," faltered the steersman. ** Look for your- 
self, if it please you, for 'tis' light enough to read the 
card without the binnacle lamp. We're sailing east 
by the sky and north by the needle. The ship's 
bedevilled !" 

** Hold your peace, or you'll have the crew in a 
fright. Head her around eight points to port, and 
keep her west by the card." 

"Lights in, sir? The sun is up," called the 

" Yes." And the mate added in a lower tone, 
** 'Tis the first time ever the sun came up in the 

" What's all this gabble ?" grumbled the captain, 
thrusting his red and whiskered face out of the cabin. 
" Can't a man have his rest when you keep the 
watch. Master Roaker?" 

Myths and Legends 

" Pray, captain, come and look at the compass. 
Do you see the lay o' the needle ? We're sailing 
west to hold north, or else the sun has missed stays 
over night and come up in the north himself." 

" Hi, hi ! That's parlous odd. Keep her as you 
have her, and have out Bill, the carpenter, to see if 
there's any iron overside. Nay, let her off a little 
more, for that's a hard-looking piece of shore out 
yonder, for all of the palms and green stuff." 

The watch was changed presently, the captain 
preferring to take the biscuit and spirits that were 
his breakfast on the deck. He went to the compass 
every minute or so, looked curiously at the draw of 
the sails and studied the water alongside. The car- 
penter had reported all sound, with no iron out of 
place to deflect the needle. There was a grave look 
on the faces of the officers, and the men talked low 
together as they watched them. 

** Strange-looking hill out yonder," remarked a 
mate. •* Not a tree on it, nor any green thing. 'Tis 
black and shining enough for the devil's grave- 

" Have done with your gossip of devils," snorted 
the other mate. " You're as evil a man for a ship's 
company as a whistler. You'll be calling ill luck on 
us to name the fiend so often." 

" Looks like shoal water forward, sir," called the 
new lookout. 

** Right ! Head her away to port yet farther. 
Look you, fellow, have you no inkling of your busi- 


In the Pacific 

ness ? You'll have us all ashore. Mary, mother ! 
Give me the helm !" With sweat bursting from his 
brow the captain caught the tiller and put it hard 
over. The ship shook a bit, swerved, yet made side- 
wise toward the green patch on the sea. The land 
was looming large now. 

" *Tis not in the rudder to keep her off, sir," 
called a mate who had gone forward. ** 'Tis the 
leeway she is making.'* 

" There's a scant breeze." 

** Ay, but there must be a fearsome current." 

** I see no sign of it. This water is smooth as 
any pond." 

" But you see for yourself, she's gaining on the 
shore. Look, now, how we're passing that patch o' 

"I think hell is under us. Have up the clerk and 
put him at prayers, and you fellows take in sail — 
each rag of it — that if we strike we may go easy. 
Call all hands. See that the boats are clear. She 
minds her helm no more than a straw. God help us !" 

The galleon was at the edge of the shoal spot 
now, and all held their breath, expecting to hear the 
grinding of the keel on a bank ; but, no, she floated 
in safety. 

" Sound !" commanded the captain. " There may 
be anchorage." 

" Four fathom," called the sailor at the lead after 
he had made his cast. 

" Stand by to let go. We'll tie up here till the 

Myths and Legends 

tide turns or the spell's worked out. Alive — alive, 
there ! Get that anchor overboard.'* 

" It be wedged agin the bulwark, captain, and 
needs another pair o* hands." 

** Forward all ! Why, you lump, the flukes are 
clear. What ails you .' Lift all. There !'* 

With an united heave the sailors raised the barbed 
iron and cast it over the side. The faces of all 
dripped and went white, and their knees bent then, 
for the anchor flew from their hands and struck the 
sea quite twenty feet away, — in deep water, for the 
shoal was passed, — and the chain paid out like rope 
as the iron sank, yet not straight down. It rattled 
off toward the shore. 

it We've had krakens and mermaids and all variety 
of horrid beasts,'* said one old tar, with his jaw 
a-shaking, ** and now the foul fiend has that anchor, 
and is pulling us ashore with it." 

The chain had run out to its length, but the an- 
chor had found no bottom. A cracking and grind- 
ing of the links could be heard, as if a tug of war 
were going on between two giants that had this 
chain between them. Bits of rust powdered off, 
and the strain was tearing splinters from the timbers. 
A loud snap, — the chain had parted. Down went 
the anchor, but again not straight, — off toward the 
land, and one free link of the chain shot as if from 
a gun straight toward the shore, whizzing with ever- 
increasing speed until it was out of sight. The men 
looked at one another in amaze. 


In the Pacific 

" Get up the stores," shouted the captain, "and 
be ready all to quit the ship.'* He added to his 
mates, " A half hour's the longest we can hope for. 
The Rose of May will be on the black cliff by that. 
Is the clerk praying ? Good ! We may get away 
in the boats, but we'll end our days here in the 
Manillas. Alack, my Betsy ! I'll never look into 
her eyes again." 

" She's down a little by the head, an't please 
you," cried a sailor, running aft. 

** Ease her a little, then. Toss over some of the 

" Lor' ! Lor' ! Spare us all this day !" yelled a 
sailor a minute later. 

" What is it ?"' 

*' I tried to put my knife on the rail here, while 
I gripped the line I was to cut, when it tugged at 
my hand like a live thing. In a fright I let go, and 
away it flew toward the shore. Oh, we've reached 
the Devil's country. Why ever did I leave Eng- 
land ?" 

" How of the compass ?" 

** It points steady to that rock." 

" Master captain ! Master captain !" shouted the 
steward, running upon deck. " The fiend is in the 
after-castle, for the pans and the knives and a blun- 
derbuss and two cutlasses that were loose have leaped 
against the forward panelling and stick there as if 
rivets were through them. 'Tis wizard's work. Let 
us pray, all." 


Myths and Legends 

A sudden commotion was seen among the sailors 
at that moment. The cannon balls had rolled for- 
ward to the break of the forecastle, and the two guns 
themselves — the ship's armament against the pirates 
of China and Sulu — were straining at their stays. 

** Heave over the shot. It'll lighten her," or- 
dered the captain. 

The crew obeyed, but after the first of the balls 
had been lifted over the bulwarks, they had scarce 
the strength to cast out the rest, for amazement 
overcame them on seeing the shot plucked from the 
man's hands and blown through the air as if sent 
from its gun toward the rock. The ship was leaping 
through the water, though the breeze was from the 
land. One after another the men fell on their knees 
and prayed loudly, the captain last of all. Suddenly 
he looked up, with a wondering flash in his eyes. 
He sprang to his feet, plucked an iron belaying-pin 
from its ledge, held it up, felt it pull, let go, and saw 
it whirl away like a leaf in a cyclone. He looked 
at the compass ; the needle pointed straight toward 
the black and glistening cliiFnow lowering not more 
than half a mile ahead. 

"It's the guns," he shrieked. "Up with you. 
Cut away the lashings. Stave down the bulwarks. 
Let them go." 

In the panic there was no stopping to argue or to 
question. The guns were freed, and they, too, went 
hurtling through the air, striking the rock with a 
clang. The captain leaped to the helm and put it 


In the Pacific 

hard a-starboard. The ship's pace slackened, she 
curved gracefully around, and headed from the threat- 
ening coast. *' Shake out all sail, lads, for we're free 
at last, by God's good grace." 

Though trembling and confused, the sailors man- 
aged to hoist sail, and on a gentle wind from the 
east they left that coast never more to venture near 
it. The captain's face lost its knots and seams, by 
slow degrees the color of it returned, — a color 
painted upon it, especially about the nose, by many 
winds, much sunshine, and uncounted bottles of 
strong waters. He wiped his brow and drew a big 
breath. ** It comes to me, now," he said. ** We've 
not been bewitched. That hill beyond, that's robbed 
us of our guns and anchor, is a magnet, — the biggest 
in the world." 

In an earthquake, several years later, the magnet- 
mountain disappeared. 


THE name Corregidor, which stands for mayor, 
albeit the translation is corrector, is applied 
to the gateway to Manila. Thus named it was a 
place to inspire a wholesome fear in the breasts 
of dignitaries, for on at least two occasions proud 
and refractory bishops were sent there in exile to 
endure a season of correction and repentance. It 
was thought to be a desert. In the seventeenth cen- 
tury the treasure galleon arriving at Manila, after a 


Myths and Legends 

voyage of months from Mexico, brought a family 
from that country. One of the daughters of this 
house of Velez was a girl with a bit of human na- 
ture in her composition, for Maria was prone to 
flirting, and had no affection for sermons. In order 
to repress her high spirits and love of mischief, she 
was sent by her father to the convent of Santa Clara, 
which had been founded in 1621 (a few years before 
this incident). The parent even hoped that she 
might qualify as a nun. 

It was not the right convent, for Fray Sanchez, 
one of the fathers, who said the offices in the chapel, 
was a Franciscan friar, young, handsome, and not an 
ascetic. The novice was always prompt when he 
said mass, and often when her pretty head should 
have been bowed in prayer she was peeping over 
the edge of her breviary, following the graceful 
motions of the brother as he shone in full canonicals 
in the candle-light, and thrilling at the sound of his 
rich, low voice. The priest several times caught 
the glance of those eyes, so black, so liquid, saw the 
long fringe of lashes fall across them, saw the face 
bend behind the prayer-book in a vain endeavor to 
hide a flush, realized what a pretty face it was, and 
went to his cell with a vague aching at his heart. 
He sought Maria among the pupils to give spirit- 
ual advice, or she sought him to ask it, — it little 
matters, — and so the first full moon looked into a 
corner of the convent garden and saw, despite the 
swaying shadow of vines and palms, that the friar 


In the Pacific 

was making confession to the nun, — a confession of 
love. The face that had peered above the prayer- 
book was lifted to his, a white arm stole about his 
neck : it was the answering confession. The priest 
strained her to his breast and half stifled her with 

These raptures were interrupted by the retiring 
bell, and they hastily returned to the convent by sepa- 
rate ways. It was the last night they expected to 
spend beneath that roof, for a galleon was to sail for 
Mexico in a day or two, and they had agreed to elope. 
Dressed in worldly garb, which she concealed under 
the robe and cowl of a monk, Maria slipped through 
the garden gate next day, met her lover, ran to the 
shore, where a boat had been tied, crossed with him 
to Camaya, the ship being promised there for a fag 
end of cargo, and prayed for a quick departure from 
the Philippines. In vain. They fell into the hands 
of unfriendly natives, who, having learned to dis- 
trust the Spanish, were always ready to wreak small 
injuries on them when the chance afforded. These 
natives attempted to separate the pair and drag the 
girl to their huts. The friar attacked them with 
spirit, but the brown men were too many for him, 
and in the melee both he and Maria were wounded. 

A boat was seen approaching. The assailants 
fled, leaving the friar, bleeding and weak, but kneel- 
ing beside his mistress, whose white skin was splashed 
and striped with red, and whose liquid eyes stared 
vacantly at the sky. As the boat touched the shore 


In the Pacific 

the corregidor leaped from it, and the friar now con- 
fronted a new peril. His flight had been discovered, 
the town-crier had bawled it through the streets, 
commanding the people to refuse shelter to the 
guilty pair under heavy penalty, and, to enforce 
their return, the mayor had brought with him twelve 
soldiers of the garrison. The loaded arquebuses of 
the men were not needed. Feeble, sore in body 
and spirit, repentant, the monk surrendered, Maria 
was lifted into the boat, and the company returned 
to Manila. 

There it was decided that the monk should be 
sent to an inland mission, that in the lifting of souls 
to a finer faith the stain of human love that had 
fallen upon his own soul might be wiped away. As 
to the girl, her good looks and gay disposition had 
proved the undoing of one devotee. She was to 
have no chance to enslave another ; so she was sent 
back to Mexico, forced to enter a cloistered nunnery, 
and so ended her life in loneliness and sanctity. The 
incident has left its impress on the names about the 
harbor, Corregidor being so called for the officer 
who pursued and arrested the runaways, Camaya 
being rechristened Mariveles, — which, you see, is 
Maria Velez, — while two rocks beyond the Boca 
Grande are named for the friar and his would-be 
bride, — Fraile and Monja : monk and nun. 

In the Pacific 


IN the city of Cebu the Chinese, who made an 
early settlement, accepted the prevalent religion 
in order to keep peace with the authorities. In fact, 
it was a choice between going to church and going 
back to China, Incidentally to their evangelization 
a number of them were cast into prison, their shops 
and houses were rifled, and laws were enacted deny- 
ing rights and privileges to all Mongols who refused 
Christian baptism. Among the refractory citizens 
was a Chinese trader named Wong. So far as any- 
body could see, he led as moral a life as a Chinaman 
can endure comfortably ; he was good to his family, 
good to himself, he was sober, he would overreach a 
Spaniard when he could, but when he had given his 
word he kept it ; he burned incense before joss, 
he read the analects of Kung Foo Too and Mang 
Tse, and worshipped his ancestors ; he never stole 
or used any kind of profanity that moral Spaniards 
could understand. For all this he was nagged and 
worried constantly, and could hardly take a walk 
without being pursued by friars who requested alms 
for their charities in so pointed a manner that he 
contributed with celerity, if with an inward lack of 
willingness. If he had been an every-day Chinaman 
he would have been killed, or prisoned, or exiled, 
or deported, but he had an excellent trade, and, in 
spite of his enforced outlays for masses and mission- 
aries, was growing richer all the time. The cus- 


Myths and Legends 

toms ofEcers thrived on the duties that he paid, and 
waxed exceeding fat. 

One elderly priest in Cebu had a genuine concern 
for the welfare of this prosperous but benighted soul. 
He called at his shop, he barred his way in the street, 
he argued, he cited, he appealed, but to no effect. 
Wong answered that, although a heathen, he was 
doing a better business than any one else ; so what 
was the use of changing gods } And with a heart- 
deep sigh he requested the clergyman to change the 
subject. Seeing, at last, that all customary methods 
of conversion were doomed to failure, the friar be- 
took himself to the shrine of St. Nicholas, and asked 
him to do something that should turn this poor soul 
to the faith. St. Nicholas praised his petitioner's 
zeal, and promised to work a miracle. ThV friar 
possessed his soul in patience, and the conversion 
came that very week. Wong was assailed in his 
office by five robbers, armed with knives and daubed 
with blood, to show that they intended neither to 
give nor ask for quarter. He had sold many goods 
that day, and they had come for his money. Wong 
reached for the sword that always hung within his 
grasp, but to his dismay it was gone. St. Nicholas 
or the friar had hidden it. He glanced rapidly about 
the room, but saw nothing that he could oppose to 
the knives of the desperadoes, and even if he had, 
they were five to one, so his escape from a cruel 
death seemed impossible. Just then the robbers 
were struck into a stupor, for on the wall behind 


In the Pacific 

the merchant a light was shining, and soft music 
floated through the room. The partition opened, 
and St. Nicholas stepped within the apartment. 
Turning to the Chinaman the visitant said, "Be- 
lieve in the true faith, Wong, and your life shall be 
saved. Believe otherwise, and you shall die." 
Wong changed his faith in one second, and said so. 
The saint waved his hand toward the ruffians and 
they dropped to the floor in a faint, whereupon 
Wong, plucking the knife from the hand of the 
nearest, carefully but expeditiously and joyfully cut 
the throats of all five, called in his neighbors and 
persuaded them to join the church with him. 
They did this almost immediately, and the most 
popular saint among the Chinese of Cebu is still St. 


YOU may say what you please, but it is certain 
that the Evil One never appeared in the 
Philippines until after the Spanish had taken posses- 
sion of the islands. At least, this applies to Luzon. 
And, strange to tell, he has not been seen there since 
the Spanish left. Some will have it that he was 
smitten into a despairing bashfulness during Weyler's 
administration, and that when the governor went 
home with a couple of million dollars in his valise — ■ 
the savings from his salary — the Devil went home 
likewise, awe-struck. His Satanic Majesty's last re- 


Myths and Legends 

corded exploit occurred in the view of three men, 
of whom one may still be alive to vouch for it. 
They were farmers of Wild Laguna, a few miles 
above Manila, and on one memorable day were cut- 
ting wood in the ravine near by, — a deep gulch 
through which babbles a stone-choked stream. This 
glen has precipitous sides, but is so thickly overhung" 
with green that it is almost like a verdant cave. 

While they were resting — and the Filipino's abil- 
ity to rest is one of his striking qualities — they were 
startled by the hurried advance of something, or 
somebody, on the bank. There was a swish and 
crash of undergrowth, a hobbling stamp, and some- 
thing that sounded like the smiting of leaves with a 
club. At first the farmers thought that a water buf- 
falo had run away from some plantation and was 
angry because he could not descend the craggy sides 
and reach the water. Then came a volley of exple- 
tives in an unknown tongue, and in a voice so deep 
and harsh that the hair of the three heads bristled, 
and three pairs of eyes goggled with fright. The 
farmer who was good crossed himself; the one who 
was bad turned white and tried to remember how 
prayers were said ; the one who was betwixt-and- 
between clung to the stone on which he was seated 
and held his breath ; for a tall, lank personage, with 
overhanging brows, slanting eyes, long chin and nose, 
and wrathful aspect, was striding to and fro on the 
edge of the ravine, looking at the opposite bank as 
if trying to decide whether or not he could leap that 


In the Pacific 

distance. He was scowling, gnashing his teeth, and 
brandishing his arms. Any Spaniard might have 
done as much, and brandished a sword besides ; but 
the terrible thing about this gentleman was the great 
length of tail, with a dart at its tip, that he was flour- 
ishing among the bushes, for only one being, on the 
earth or under it, was known to have a tail like that. 
As if to leave no doubt, the stranger, in stamping 
on the ground, lifted his leg so high that the watch- 
ers could see that it ended, not in a foot, but a hoof. 
It was Satan himself! The farmers did not dare to 
tremble, but each shrank within himself as far as he 
could and thought upon his sins, the worst of the trio 
with the least compunction, because he was not con- 
scious of any immorality in robbing Spaniards. As 
he tramped back and forth, the devil now and then 
looked up into the branches, as if guessing the height 
of the trees. Presently he stopped before the tallest, 
levelled his finger at it, and cried with a stentorian 
voice a command in words that belong to none of 
the forty or fifty languages and dialects of the islands. 
Then the souls of the spectators fell, like chilling 
currents, and their hearts swelled like balloons and 
arose into their throats, and there was no joy in 
them ; for the great tree bent slowly down and 
swung itself entirely across the chasm. Its reach 
was great, and Satan skipped along the trunk as 
spryly as a cat on a fence, his arms and tail held 
out for balance and twitching nervously. Half-way 
over he spied the three spectators and stopped. 
27 337 

Myths and Legends 

Their circulation stopped also. He grinned from 
ear to ear, showing two rows of tusk-like teeth, 
shook his fist playfully, and shouted a laugh so loud, 
so awful, that they believed their last moment had 
come. But it had not. Their hair turned white, 
to be sure, and they took on fifty years* growth of 
wrinkles ; but the Devil was after bigger game. He 
scampered over the arching trunk, disappeared on 
the farther side, and hurried off at a run toward 
Manila, where a certain rich lawyer was rumored to 
be dying. From later whisperings it appears that 
His Majesty was not late. 

The strange part of the incident is that, although 
the tree was thus ill-used to serve the Devil's con- 
venience, and is marked along its bark by his cloven 
feet, it was not blasted, but to this hour is green and 
flourishing. The Devil's Bridge, as everybody calls 
it, is an arboreal wonder, curving lightly and grace- 
fully over the chasm, its branches resting on the 
bank opposite to its root, some of them growing up- 
side down, but all as green and healthy as those of 
any tree that the Devil spared when he was looking 
for a way to cross the ravine. Had he waded the 
stream he not only would have wet his feet, which 
would have been unpleasant, but would have touched 
water that had once been blessed, and that would 
have been torture. The bad farmer did not survive 
this spectacle by many years, though it is not related 
that he reformed. The fair-to-middling one lasted 
for a while longer. The good one may yet be in the 


In the Pacific 

land of the living, unless he enlisted under Agui- 
naldo, which is not likely, because old men cannot 
run fast enough to be effective members of the Fili- 
pino army. 


AFTER months of fighting, Li Ma Hong, the 
Chinese pirate, and his six thousand follow- 
ers had been beaten out of Philippine waters. Ma- 
nila was celebrating the victory on this last night of 
November, 1645. The church bells had been clang- 
ing and chiming, the windows had been lighted, flags 
and pennants had streamed from the house-tops, 
sounds of music and cries of rejoicing were heard, a 
thousand fairy lamps starred the darkness and quiv- 
ered in the Pasig. The flag of Spain had been car- 
ried through the streets in solemn procession, the 
cathedral altar had smoked with incense, the friars 
had chanted the "Te Deum," but now all was gayety 
and music and perfume. A ball was among the fes- 
tivities, and military and civic officers, pranked in the 
lace and bullion so dear to the Latins, were going 
through the narrow ways with their ladies on their 
arms. Taking no part in the joyous hurly-burly, 
two men walked apart, near the cathedral, in talk. 
One was a father in the church ; the other, secretary 
and major-domo of the governor. The calling of 
the one, the age and dignity of the other, to say 
nothing of an old wound that gave a hitch and 


Myths and Legends 

drag to his step, forbade their mingling with the 

The secretary spoke : ** No, father, I hardly agree 
with your view. That heaven has been on our side 
I admit, since we have conquered the infidels, seized 
their treasure, and strewn their corpses on our 
shores. But that the blessed St. Francis interposes 
in our behalf, I doubt." 

" This is dangerous doctrine, — a reflection on our 
order. We have prayed daily for the success of the 
Spanish arms, and although we addressed the Virgin 
and all the saints, the statue of St. Francis is the only 
one that moved while we were at prayer '* 

" With your eyes on the ground ?" 

" The sacristan saw it. Furthermore, let me tell 
you that the figure of the saint owned by the worthy 
Indian, Alonzo Cuyapit, at his house in Dilao, was 
stirred to tears last night." 

** Tears ! For victory ?" 

" I fear, for some reason worthy of tears." 

" And your imaginations have nothing to do with 
all this ? Men who are wasted with vigils and fast- 
ing" — here the secretary chuckled and made as if he 
would nudge the churchman in his ample paunch — 
"are prone to see what common men cannot. 
Though I protest that when I eat much cheese be- 
fore retiring I have visions, too. But not always 
holy ones." 

The priest answered with gravity, *' A life of de- 
votion does clear the vision. It opens the gates of 


In the Pacific 

heaven. I fear, senor, that too many in this doubt- 
ing age are affected like you, — that a study of phil- 
osophy and ungodly sciences has harmed your respect 
for the saints and the church." 

** By no means, father. All I maintain is that the 
figure of St. Francis was not seen in the thick of the 
battle, as some of the friars allege. Good sooth ! 
What do they know of battle ? Our victories were 
won by stout Spanish arms and good Toledo steel. 
All praise to Heaven that we had the power." 

The priest shook his head and sighed. Then 
he looked curiously into the sky. The stars were 
shining, save in the south, where lightning flickered 
in a bank of cloud, and there was no threat of 
storm. Yet in the air was a curious stagnation that 
had fallen within the hour and brooded over the city 
like a palpable thing. It was hot and close and life- 
less ; stale smells from the streets reeked into the 
nostrils, and from the Pasig came a heavy, sickish 
odor of river vegetation. 

" Sometimes it fills me with a fear that Heaven has 
a punishment in store for us," said the priest, stop- 
ping in his walk and looking meditatively into the 
distance, where the lightning now played more 
brightly. " We have grown worldly. We have 
thought less of serving God by our wars than of in- 
creasing our power and importance in the eyes of 
the nations. We have grown proud. We are in 
danger of losing our piety. Pray that the wrath do 
not fall." 


Myths and Legends 

" With all my heart, — especially to-night. Your 
blessing, father. And sound sleep." 

It was the last time that these friends were to walk 
together. It was the last time in many a day when 
Manila would be in gala. At midnight the greasy 
calm that lay on the sea was broken by a breeze 
which ruffled the water and made a pleasant stir in 
the trees ashore. It eased the sultriness of the night 
and brought rest to many who had been tossing on 
their beds, excited doubtless by the shows and dis- 
sipations of the last few hours. Presently the sleep- 
ers were roused again, for the wind was rising stead-, 
ily ; the trees were writhing and wringing their 
branches in what was surely going to be a gale. The 
lightning was near. A growl of thunder could be 
heard. The clock boomed the hour of two. Out 
of an intense dark leaped a bolt of green fire, and 
the air was filled with baying and cannonade. Al- 
most at the moment the earth began to rock. The 
city awoke. The rocking increased. Roofs began 
to fall, walls to bulge, masonry to split and sway. 

" The earthquake ! The earthquake !'* screamed 
a thousand voices, and with cries and lamenting the 
people hurried into the streets and fell on their knees 
or their faces, unable to stand on the waving, trem- 
bling ground. It was an hour of terror. All lights 
were blown out by the storm or extinguished in the 
fall of houses, save one or two of baleful meaning 
that flickered above roofs which had caught fire. 
The sea could be heard advancing toward the land 


In the Pacific 

with tremendous roaring, driving up the channel of 
the Pasig and overspreading its banks on either side, 
while far below, and most dreadful of all, the fall 
could be heard of pieces of the earth's crust into 
pits of fire and the vast rumble and groan of a world. 
Houses crumbled, people were pressed to death and 
maimed in the blackness, streets cracked asunder, 
trees were uprooted, chaos was come again. 

In the morning the survivors looked upon a scene 
of ruin worse than any wrought by the pirates. The 
sanctity of the cathedral had not saved it. Of its 
imposing walls hardly anything remained. A heap 
of masonry marked its place. Every public building 
was destroyed. Wretches hurt to the death were 
pinned under fallen stones and timbers, and many, 
willing enough to relieve them, were too dazed and 
agonized by their own pains and misfortunes to pull 
their wits together. Spain had enjoyed her triumphs. 
Now her calamities had begun. 

On the night before the catastrophe, Alonzo Cuy- 
apit, a rich Indian of Dilao, a suburb of the city, 
and his friend, the chaplain of the San Francisco 
Convent, were at prayers together before a statue of 
St. Francis, that was the Indian's dearest pride. He 
had shrined it fittingly in his home, with flowers and 
candles about it, and adored it daily. The statue 
was of life-size, the work of an adept carver ; was 
brilliantly painted and gemmed, and had about the 
neck a rosary from which hung a cross of polished 
gold. So many miracles of healing had been per- 


Myths and Legends 

formed by this figure that its renown had gone 
through all Luzon. 

While Cuyapit and the chaplain were on their 
knees a tremor shook the floor. Slight earthquakes 
of this kind were not unusual. Though the walls 
of the house rattled, the statue remained fixed and 
still. Another jar was felt in the ground, and rais- 
ing their hands to the saint, the petitioners begged 
him fervently to intercede against a dangerous shock. 
Presently they lifted their eyes, and were struck 
dumb with amazement, for the statue had unclasped 
its hands, the one pointing toward Manila, as if in 
warning ; the other holding the golden cross toward 
heaven, as if in an appeal for mercy. A halo, so 
bright as to dazzle the beholders, played about the 
head, the lips moved, and from the upturned eyes 
tears trickled down the cheeks. Cuyapit and the 
priest arose and tried to stanch these tears, but the 
cloth they used was soon as wet as if they had just 
taken it from the river. Then the statue raised its 
arms high over its head, as in a last appeal for mercy 
to the world, while the tears gushed in such a stream 
that they made a continuous fall to the floor. A look 
of horror wrung the face, as if the prayer had been 
refused ; and, extending its hands in benediction, the 
saint toppled from his pedestal and was broken into 

When these occurrences had been told by Cuy- 
apit in the Church of San Francisco, under an oath 
before the Virgin, the pieces were carried in rever- 


In the Pacific 

ential procession to Manila, and the miracle of 
San Francisco of the Tears is accepted there as 


CROWDS of all kinds are easily swayed, but it 
is said that nowhere is it so easy to rouse a 
panic or a revolution as in Manila. Several times 
during the earlier months of the American occupa- 
tion vague fears spread through the city, people ran 
to their homes or locked themselves in their shops 
, in terror, lights were put out, armed guards were 
posted ; then, after a few hours, everybody asked 
everybody else what the matter had been, and nobody 

In 1820 a strange scene was enacted in the Phil- 
ippine capital. People assembled in groups at even- 
ing and whispered mysteriously. Gowned friars 
moved from group to group, but whether encour- 
aging or expostulating it was impossible for one to 
say, unless he understood Spanish orTagalog. The 
captain of an American ship that was taking on its 
load of hemp reported to a neighbor captain, who 
sailed under the cross of St. George, that there had 
been a violation of the government order against the 
importing of Protestant Bibles and pocket-pistols, — 
two things taboo in the country at that time. This, 
however, may have been the Yankee captain's joke. 
As the night deepened torches were seen flitting 


Myths and Legends 

hither and thither, the crowds thickened, the whis- 
pers and hushed talk increased by degrees to a wide- 
spread, menacing growl, then arose to a roar. Now 
drums were heard in the barracks, and the light, 
quick tread of marching feet could be distinguished 
through the babble of voices. The mob was slowly 
wedging itself into one of the streets before an inn, 
and just at the doors of that hostelry the noise was 
loudest and most threatening. 

Presently came a crash. The building had been 
entered. Instantly there were shouts and cries, and 
the throng seemed fairly to boil with anger. In the 
light of candles that shone through windows the faces 
lifted toward the tavern were drawn and wolfish. 
Shots were heard. The mob was shaken, as a wood 
is shaken by a gale, but there was no retreat. There 
could be none. The people were packed too densely. 
Now a glint of bayonets was seen at one end of the 
street, and some sharp orders rang out. This was 
more effective. The throng began to thin away at 
the farther end, and those nearest to the soldiers at- 
tempted to break through the line, loudly declaring 
that they were merely spectators, and did not know 
what had happened. But in another moment every- 
body knew. Two dark shapes were passed out at the 
inn door, and were, in some fashion, pushed along 
over the heads of the multitude to its freer edge. 
These shapes had recently been men. With ropes 
about their necks they were dragged at a run through 
the streets. More houses were attacked. Other 


In the Pacific 

forms were found lying on the earth, pulseless, 
bloody, after the mob had passed. The military 
was, seemingly, unable to head it off or give effec- 
tive chase. Flames now lighted various quarters of 
the city, and shots were frequently heard. It was 
a night of terror. History speaks of it as a night 
of rioting. Many declare that it was a St. Bar- 
tholomew massacre, on a smaller scale, and that the 
Protestants who were killed that night were put to 
death at the instigation of the friars. Tradition 
relates that when the sun arose the people, num- 
bering thousands, marched in triumph through the 
city, following a dozen of their number who bore 
in their hands the phials in which two French 
naturalists, recently landed in Luzon, had preserved 
a number of snakes and insects for their scientific 

There was the mischief, — in those jars and bottles. 
Nobody would put a serpent or a scorpion into alco- 
hol except for some grim purpose, and that purpose 
could be nothing other than black magic. Hence 
the raid on the inn ; hence the killing of the natur- 
alists and of other people suspected of complicity or 
sympathy with forbidden arts ; hence the state of 
education of Luzon. 


Myths and Legends 


BACK in the 30's an emigrant of some account 
arrived in Manila. He was a young doctor 
of medicine who had just won his sheepskin in Sal- 
amanca, and had been persuaded that there was small 
hope of a living for him in a province where the 
people were too poor to be ill and too lazy to die. 
The Philippines had been suggested as a promising 
field for his practice, and realizing that he needed 
practice he made the long journey around Good 
Hope and reached the Luzon capital nearly penni- 
less, but full of gratitude and expectancy. Having 
secured lodgings, to which he at once affixed his 
shingle, he sallied forth to see the town and its 
people, and one of the first of its inhabitants to claim 
his attention, though she claimed it unwittingly, was 
a girl of the lower class who was walking along the 
street with an easy, elastic step, and in seeming 
health, yet who was evidently suffering from a hem- 
orrhage, for at every few paces she paused and spat 
blood. Her bearing and expression were in odd 
contrast with her peril, for she seemed indifferent to 
the danger. 

Prompted by compassion as well as by a profes- 
sional interest, the physician followed the invalid, 
expecting at every moment to see her fall or hear 
her beg for help, his wonder at the stoicism and en- 
durance of the Filipino growing constantly. When 
she reached her home, an humble house in a poor 


In the Pacific 

quarter of the city, he begged immediate audience 
with her parents, who were, unfortunately, ac- 
quainted with the Spanish tongue, and told them 
it was his duty to warn them that the girl had not 
twenty-four hours to live ; that she was afflicted 
with a mortal illness ; that a priest should be called 
at once. The girl's cheeks were ruddy, she was in 
good spirits, and the old people were inclined to re- 
sent the warning as a joke, being an exceeding poor 
one. The visitor explained that he was a medical 
man, that he was actuated by the most charitable of 
motives, that he would do everything in his power 
to delay the fatal ending of the disease, but that res- 
toration to health was impossible. 

When this dreadful news was broken to the girl 
she had a violent fit of weeping, then hysterics, 
then a long fainting spell, and sank into a decline so 
swift that the parents were in despair. Neighbors 
flocked in to offer condolences and comforts ; a 
priest received the young woman's confession and 
performed the last rites ; the doctor plied his patient 
with drugs, fomentations, and stimulants ; father, 
mother, and friends groaned, prayed, and tore their 
hair. All the time the poor creature sank steadily, 
the color left her face, her breath grew labored, and 
as night fell the doctor's warning was fulfilled, — she 
was dead. 

In a single day the fame of this wonderful physi- 
cian spread through all the city, and people flocked 
to his lodging with money and diseases. He was 


Myths and Legends 

dazzled at the prospect of riches. After three or 
four years of this kind of thing, if the tax man did 
not hear too much of his success, he could return to 
Spain and live in comfortable retirement. Alas ! for 
human hopes, he returned sooner than he had in- 
tended. A few days after the death of his first 
patient somebody asked how he forecast her fate so 

** It was easy enough, — she spat blood," he an- 

" Are you sure it was blood ?" 

" Certainly. It was red." 

** Ah, senor, every one spits red in Manila." 

" Bah !" 

** Oh, it is true ! Everybody chews the buyo 
leaf, which is like the betel of India, that you have 
heard of, just as everybody smokes in Luzon. The 
juice of the buyo is red." 

Then the doctor realized that h-e had killed his 
patient by making her believe she was doomed to 
die, and with the earnings of his brief career in the 
Philippines he bought a passage back to Spain in the 
same ship that had carried him to the East. So, if 
you hear that a person is ill, but if your informant 
winks and says that he is spitting red, you may be- 
lieve that the invalid will be out after a good sleep 
and a little bromide. 


In the Pacific 


ENCHANTED Lake, near Los Banos, on the 
Pasig, fills an ancient crater and is an object of 
natural interest. Its enchantment, so far as is generally 
known, consists in the visits of Widow Velarde's hus- 
band to its shores, and his occasional moonlight excur- 
sions over its waters in a boat that has the same pale 
green shine as himself. This Velarde was a fisherman 
and being somewhat of a gallant he had roused the 
mortal jealousy of his wife. In revenge for his 
supposed slights she engaged two of his friends to 
confer on her the joys of widowhood, which they 
agreed to do for a consideration. The amount 
promised was six dollars, but the preliminary nego- 
tiations appear to have been hasty, for when these 
worthies had earned the money, having held the un- 
fortunate Velarde under the water until he ceased to 
bubble, the thrifty woman wanted them to accept 
three dollars apiece. They held stoutly for six dol- 
lars apiece. The widow would not pay it. There 
was a long and undignified wrangle, — disputes over 
funeral bills are often warranted, but are seldom 
seemly, — and it ended in the angry departure of the 
fishermen, without even their three dollars, to lodge 
a complaint against the Widow Velarde for cheating. 
Now, would you suppose that two men, having 
just murdered a fellow-creature, would go to a mag- 
istrate to complain about the payment ? These Fil- 
ipinos did it. They went to a judge at Los Banos 


Myths and Legends 

and tried to get an order for the woman*s arrest. 
The judge, fancying this must be a kind of joke 
peculiar to Luzon, said he would think over the 
matter, and he resumed his slumbers. In a day or 
two he learned that the men had really killed their 
companion, and had fallen out with the widow on 
the matter of terms. They meanwhile had learned 
that their act was contrary to white man's law and 
had escaped, though it is said they were afterward 
caught and put to death. Perhaps it is the disquiet 
caused by the reflection that he was worth no more 
than six dollars that leads the extinguished husband 
to vex the scene of his demise. 


planter and trader, who visited the Philip- 
pines a lifetime ago, or more, told stories of the 
islands and their people that are taken in these days 
with a lump of salt. Among these narrations is one 
pertaining to the bandits who in the first years of the 
nineteenth century were numerous and troublesome 
on several of the islands, and who were alternately 
harassed and befriended by the officials, — chased 
when they had money and well treated when they 
had parted with most of it to cool the sweating 
palms of authority. Gironiere was visiting the cas- 
cades of Yang Yang when he found himself sur- 
rounded by brigands who were chattering volubly and 


In the Pacific 

pointing to his horses. They did not at first offer 
violence, but presently he understood that soldiers 
were in chase of them, and they were considering 
whether it would not be wise to kill the horses, lest 
the troop, on its arrival, should seize them to aid in 
the pursuit. 

Gironiere could not afford horses often. He 
eagerly assured the thieves that he would not give 
his nags to the military ; that he would, on the con- 
trary, depart by the road over which he had come, 
in order to avoid meeting the soldiers, and this 
promise he made on the honor of a gentleman. The 
leader of the brigands saluted, and the Frenchman 
drove away, as he had agreed, the thieves watching 
him until he was out of sight. For months after this 
incident he had no trouble with the natives. His 
household goods, his garden products, his poultry 
were spared. Some years later, when he had defi- 
nitely cast his fortunes with the Spaniards, he ac- 
cepted a commission as captain of the horse guards 
at Laguna, and it then became his duty to trouble 
the very robbers who once had spared him. Their 
fighting was usually open, and, as the marksmanship 
on both sides was the very worst, it was seldom 
that anybody was hurt. Truces were made, as in 
honorable war, and the leaders corresponded with 
one another as to terms of battle or surrender. 
One unofficial document received by Gironiere cau- 
tioned him to look out for himself, as there was one 
in the bandit ranks who was ungrateful. *' Beware 
as 353 

Myths and Legends 

of Pedro Tumbaga," it said. " He has ordered us 
to take you by surprise in your house. This warn- 
ing is in payment for your kindness at the cascades. 
You kept your word. We are ready to fight you 
now, as you would fight us ; but we don*t strike in 
the back. Tumbaga will shoot you from hiding." 

Gironiere was a crafty person, likewise a cautious 
one. He knew where to send an answer to this 
epistle, and he sent it : *' You are brave men, and I 
thank you. I do not fear Tumbaga, for he is a 
coward. How can you keep among you a man who 
would shoot another in the back ?" Just look at that 
for slyness ! And the message had the effect he 
desired and expected. Some brave bandit got behind 
a tree a couple of weeks afterward and shot a bullet 
through Tumbaga. Thus was the power of the 
brigands weakened, the safety of Gironiere assured, 
and good feeling re-established between the law and 
its habitual breakers. 



NOV 161899 



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